Bump on a Young Head. Bump on a Old Head. Does TBI/TBI Recovery Differ With Age?

Infants and children who suffer traumatic brain injuries typically have a worse prognosis (expected outcome) than adults who suffer similar injuries. The brains of babies and children are still developing. Occasionally, a baby’s brain or a child’s brain can develop “around” an injury, and the outcome can be good.

  • Physical Impact – Motor skills may be reduced or absent; children may miss important developmental milestones (crawling, walking, reaching, grasping, speaking, etc.)
  • Emotional Impact – Children may be depressed, frustrated, angry or even in denial about the changes they are facing.

By contrast, when an adult suffers a traumatic or other brain injury, determining the extent of the damage typically is much easier. An adult’s personality is already established, and there is a known baseline of the individual’s physical and mental capabilities. This provides medical professionals with far more data and information to use in formulating opinions about current and future deficits.

  • Impaired cognitive skills – Adults can have problems performing skills and tasks previously mastered, such as reading and writing. They may also speak and think more slowly and take longer to solve problems.
  • Mood/Behavior – These changes can be especially difficult to adjust to when it feels that your loved one is a different person. Mood swings and behavioral issues can cause anger, frustration and depression in both the adult suffering from a brain injury and those who love and support her. – (