Teenagers who have had a concussion also have higher rates of suicide attempts

April 15, 2014, St. Michael's Hospital

Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion are at "significantly greater odds" of attempting suicide, being bullied and engaging in a variety of high risk behaviours, a new study has found.

They are also more likely to become bullies themselves, to have sought counselling through a crisis help-line or to have been prescribed medication for anxiety, depression or both, said Dr. Gabriela Ilie, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow at St. Michael's Hospital.

They have higher odds of damaging property, breaking and entering, taking a car without permission, selling marijuana or hashish, running away from home, setting a fire, getting into a fight at school or carrying or being threatened by a weapon, she said in a paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Dr. Ilie said the study provides the first population-based evidence demonstrating the extent of the association between TBI and poor outcomes among adolescents.

"These results show that preventable brain injuries and mental health and behavioural problems among teens continue to remain a blind spot in our culture," Dr. Ilie said. "These kids are falling through the cracks."

The data used in the study was from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The survey, one of the longest ongoing school surveys in the world, contains responses from almost 9,000 students from Grades 7-12 in publicly funded schools across Ontario. The OSDUHS began as a drug use survey, but is now a broader study of adolescent health and well-being. Questions about traumatic were added to the survey for the first time in 2011.

"We know from a previous study based on OSDUHS data that as many as 20 per cent of adolescents in Ontario said they have experienced a in their lifetime," said Dr. Robert Mann, senior scientist at CAMH and director of the OSDUHS. "The relationship between TBI and is concerning and calls for greater focus on prevention and further research on this issue."

Dr. Ilie said the teenage years are already a turbulent time for some, as they try to figure out who they are and what they want to be. Since a TBI can exacerbate mental health and behavioural issues, she said primary physicians, schools, parents and coaches need to be vigilant in monitoring adolescents with TBI.

In addition, she said many TBI experienced by youth occur during sports and recreational pursuits, and are largely preventable through use of helmets and the elimination of body checking in hockey.

The study found that adolescents who had suffered a TBI sometime in their life had twice the odds of being bullied at school or via the Internet and almost three times the odds of attempting suicide or being threatened at school with a weapon compared to those without a TBI.

Explore further: Study examines prevalence, characteristics of traumatic brain injuries among adolescents

More information: dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094936

Related Stories

Study examines prevalence, characteristics of traumatic brain injuries among adolescents

June 25, 2013
The estimated lifetime prevalence of TBI was 20.2 percent; 5.6 percent of respondents reported at least 1 TBI in the past 12 months (4.3 percent of girls and 6.9 percent of boys) and 14.6 percent reported a TBI in their lifetime ...

Homeless with TBI more likely to visit ER

March 21, 2014
Homeless and vulnerably housed people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury at some point in their life are more likely to visit an Emergency Department, be arrested or incarcerated, or be victims of physical assault, ...

Veterans with traumatic brain injuries and combat-related challenges

February 3, 2014
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that among traumatic brain injury-diagnosed veterans treated by the Veterans Health Administration between 2009 and 2011, the majority had a clinician-diagnosed mental ...

Exploring the link between traumatic brain injury and people who are homeless

March 21, 2013
Homeless people and their health care providers need to know more about traumatic brain injuries to help prevent and treat such injuries, a new study has found.

Study examines amyloid deposition in patients with traumatic brain injury

November 11, 2013
Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) had increased deposits of β-Amyloid (Aβ) plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer Disease (AD), in some areas of their brains in a study by Young T. Hong, Ph.D., of the University of Cambridge, ...

Prior brain injury linked to re-injury later in life

January 3, 2013
(HealthDay)—Older adults with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness (LOC) have a 2.5- to almost four-fold higher risk of subsequent re-injury later in life, according to research published ...

Recommended for you

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

Reducing sessions of trauma-focused psychotherapy does not affect effectiveness

January 17, 2018
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients treated with as few as five sessions of trauma-focused psychotherapy find it equally effective as receiving 12 sessions.

0 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.