Study could lead to better treatment for child brain injuries

Study could lead to better treatment for child brain injuries
UQ researchers have found PTSD is contributing to pain in children with traumatic brain injuries, and not the other way around.

(Medical Xpress)—The discovery of a new link between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain and children with traumatic brain injuries could lead to better treatment methods, according to a new study.

University of Queensland researcher Erin Brown said the study, led by the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD), found PTSD was contributing to in children with traumatic brain injuries, and not the other way around.

"It has been well established that PTSD and pain are related after injury, but until now it has been unclear whether pain is causing children to develop PTSD, or whether PTSD is causing the pain," Ms Brown said.

"The study indicates that PTSD is the driving cause of lingering pain in children with a .

"This contradicts previous theories that PTSD may have been caused by lingering pain."

Ms Brown said the study had allowed researchers to propose a new model for understanding how PTSD is related to pain in children with traumatic brain injuries.

The findings may aid the clinical treatment of children recovering from .

"Our research shows that children with a traumatic brain injury may benefit from being screened for PTSD," Ms Brown said.

"Those children who do screen positive for PTSD should then be linked with appropriate treatment.

"Children who are identified and treated early may recover more rapidly and experience reduced pain."

Ms Brown said the study was the first to examine the interaction between PTSD and pain in a group of children with mild to severe traumatic brain injuries.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, included 195 children aged six to 15 who were admitted to an Australian hospital with mild-to-severe traumatic brain injuries.

The children were screened for PTSD by a clinician, while parents were surveyed on their child's pain levels over an 18-month period following the injury. Around 200 of every 100,000 Australian aged under 15 are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury annually.

More information: Journal of Pediatric Psychology, jpepsy.oxfordjournals.org/cont… nt/39/5/512.abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Suicide risk falls substantially after talk therapy

8 hours ago

Repeat suicide attempts and deaths by suicide were roughly 25 percent lower among a group of Danish people who underwent voluntary short-term psychosocial counseling after a suicide attempt, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School ...

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

Nov 21, 2014

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news ...

Mental disorders due to permanent stress

Nov 21, 2014

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. The effects of permanent stress on the immune system are studied by the ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.