Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in children. TBI often produces problems with concentration, memory and learning (so called ‘cognitive impairments’). In adults we have shown that these cognitive problems after TBI are mainly due to disruption of the wiring of the brain, but it is not clear whether this is the case in children.
We can measure damage to brain connections using a safe form of brain scanning called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This will allow us to map out the pattern of injury and relate it to problems the children have. The main aim of the project is to study a group of children after TBI, to determine whether there is damage to the brain networks we have identified as being critical in the adult population and to test whether this relates to any persistent cognitive problems they may have. This will allow us to diagnose the cause of problems after TBI, identify children who will need help, and guide the development of new treatments.
This is a multi-centre study, jointly funded by Action Medical Research and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. Children with a head injury will be primarily identified from paediatric cases that were treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital in recent years.