A recent study shows that childhood brain injuries can increase the risk of ADHD. The researchers found that this condition develops over time in several years. Moreover, traumatic brain injury (TBI) was linked to the development of ADHD later in life. Young kids who experienced a brain injury were 3.6 times more likely to develop ADHD, compared to the kids in the control group.
New Information on ADHD
On average, these kids developed ADHD 6.8 years after they suffered the TBI. The researchers who conducted this study mentioned that their work is unique because they monitored the children starting with almost 10 years after the TBI. Previous studies on this topic only followed the children for 2 or 3 years.
This is how the team of researchers observed that the ADHD doesn’t develop right away. It takes several years after the childhood brain injuries for the condition to develop. Previous studies have shown that secondary ADHD is very common in children who suffered a TBI. However, more than 20% of the kids in this study had developed it. This is a far greater percentage than was expected.
How Did They Do It?
To conduct this new research, scientists monitored 187 kids aged between 3 and 7 who were in the hospital for orthopedic injuries (control group – 106 kids) or TBI (81 kids). These kids were hospitalized at 4 hospitals between January 2003 and June 2008. None of them had ADHD at the beginning of the study. The kids from the control group had bone fracture but no sign of brain injuries.
From these 187 kids, 25.7% of them developed secondary ADHD. Those who suffered brain injuries were more likely to develop the condition. In fact, most kids developed ADHD up to 18 months after the brain injury, while some of them developed it after 6.8 years. This only shows that more research needs to be done on this topic. Also, it is important to see some long-term studies to assess the topic correctly.