Prevalence and Correlates of Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Adolescents

Brain Scan with Highlighted Red Spot

adolescent_traumatic_brain_injuryThe 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey revealed that adolescents from grades 7 through 12 experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) at a much higher rate than researchers previously thought. These adolescents experienced the injuries while participating in hockey, soccer, and other sports, and as a result were knocked unconscious for five minutes or hospitalized.

The occurrences of brain injury reported in the survey identify concussions as the most common type of TBI among participants. Males more than females, students with lower grades, and users of cannabis and alcohol reported more occurrences of TBI in the survey. Participation in sports accounted for over 60 percent of TBI reported by males, and less than 50 percent by females.

TBI in adolescents may lead to long-term cognitive impairment, and mental and physical health complications due to the negative impact of the injury to their developing brains.

Ilie G, Boak A, et al. Prevalence and Correlates of Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Adolescents. JAMA. (June 2013).