Can traumatic brain injury impair a child's working memory?

©2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) during childhood can have long-term effects on cognitive and psychosocial functioning, including poor academic achievement. Pediatric TBI can cause significant deficits in working memory, as demonstrated in a study published in Journal of Neurotrauma.

Working memory is the ability to collect, retain, and use information needed to perform tasks and respond to immediate demands. Amery Treble and coauthors from University of Houston, Texas and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston used brain imaging studies to measure verbal and visuospatial working memory in a group of children who sustained TBI and a control group who did not. The comparison showed poorer visuospatial working memory in the pediatric TBI group, which was associated with disruptions in brain connectivity between neural networks that underlie working memory.

In the article "Working Memory and Corpus Callosum Microstructural Integrity after Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Diffusion Tensor Tractography Study," the authors propose that the identification of neuroanatomical biomarkers indicative of these changes in brain microstructure might allow for early identification of children at increased risk for impaired working memory and for earlier intervention.

"While confirming the longstanding belief that the is consistently involved with traumatic brain, this study's exquisite regionally specific analyses of callosal integrity, together with its evaluation of in a pediatric brain-injured population, make this a particularly important contribution to the field of pediatric TBI," says John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, VCU Neuroscience Center, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website at www.liebertpub.com/neu

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Have a brain injury? You may be at higher risk for stroke

Jun 26, 2013

People who have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be more likely to have a future stroke, according to research that appears in the June 26, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neu ...

Recommended for you

New ALS associated gene identified using innovative strategy

17 hours ago

Using an innovative exome sequencing strategy, a team of international scientists led by John Landers, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that TUBA4A, the gene encoding the Tubulin Alpha 4A protein, ...

Can bariatric surgery lead to severe headache?

17 hours ago

Bariatric surgery may be a risk factor for a condition that causes severe headaches, according to a study published in the October 22, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurol ...

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

17 hours ago

A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness.

Brain simulation raises questions

21 hours ago

What does it mean to simulate the human brain? Why is it important to do so? And is it even possible to simulate the brain separately from the body it exists in? These questions are discussed in a new paper ...

User comments