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New Study Finds Child Traumatic Brain Injury Victims Can Recover Over Time

In an encouraging bit of new, WebMD reported earlier this week on a new research effort which has found that the long-term prognosis for some traumatic brain injury child victims is better than previously thought. This finding is an important bit of positive news considering that our Chicago brain injury lawyers have noticed that most news around the topic these days involves concerns that current prevention and treatment plans are woefully inadequate. It is high time that families dealing with these injuries received a bit of good medical news.

Head injuries, even seemingly mild ones, can have particularly troubling effects on young children, because their brains are still developing when the injury occurs. In this way, the overall harm caused by the injury is often not known until even years later when an expected development that should take place misfires because of the previous head injury. When it comes to recovery, many parents of child victims are told that they can expect their child to plateau in recovery, with gains stalled as the child ages. In a few cases victims can actually get worse over time-a particularly frightening prospect for worried parents.

However, recently published research which involved following child brain injury victims for ten years has uncovered encouraging findings. The main take-away from the study was that for those children whose injuries were not too severe, gains could be seen even after the apparent plateau. The plateau still occurs-after a rapid rate of improvement following the injury-but it does not signify the limit of the child’s recovery. Interestingly, the researchers also found that there is an “injury threshold” which is the point at which a victim with less severe injury may ultimately escape serious problems.

Expectedly, researchers found that children who had suffered the most severe injuries were the ones who had the worst outcomes on measures like IQ, thinking skills, social interactivity, and behavior indicators. However, with all victims, time was needed for full recovery. The “plateau” period often does not set in for five or ten years. However, even many years after the plateau, further treatment is often helpful in allowing the child to make increased gains. When it comes to recovery the researchers found that environment and therapy matter greatly. The final take-away from the lead researcher is that prolonged treatment is essential because, “a head injury does not inevitably imply that your child will have impairments forever.”

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys believe that these findings offer even more support to the already logical notion that child victims need access to as much quality therapy as possible. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not provide the resources that families need to actually receive this long-term therapy. As a result, victims often do not reach their full potential. When the injury itself was caused by the wrongdoing of another-such as in a car accident-it is absolutely critical for involved families to ensure that they have access to all that their child will need to recover fully.

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