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long-term effects of frontal-lobe concussion in very young child?

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Unread 04-11-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
Lillia
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Default long-term effects of frontal-lobe concussion in very young child?

I was hoping to hear from anyone who's dealt with a concussion in a very young child (under 7 or so) -- whether there were long-term changes, months or years later.

My four-year-old daughter had a frontal lobe concussion in mid-February. She seemed to be recovering well at first -- there were some minor, immediate behavioral changes (sleep disturbances, moodiness), but we assumed these would subside as she recovered. About a month after the injury, she suddenly began showing more unnerving behavioral changes -- odd/inappropriate emotional responses (such as giggling uncontrollably in response to things that previously would have upset her, which then spirals into a period of increasingly hyper behavior), increasing inability to focus during conversation, loss of attention span, etc. The pediatric neurologist said these types of behaviors are common after frontal-lobe injuries but suggested that they usually fade within a month or two after the injury.

But these things seem to be getting worse rather than better. And I've been obsessively researching in an effort to educate myself on what to expect, and the research I've seen is so frightening. I thought the conventional wisdom was that children recover better from brain injuries than adults, because their brains are still developing. But I guess now the idea is that this means the damage they sustain is actually much worse. Some of the articles indicate that frontal-lobe concussions in very young children (under 7 or so) can actually can prevent the affected areas of the brain from ever developing. So a child may seem to have recovered, but then (as years pass) falls further and further behind socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Or learning deficits and behavioral problems may appear years later.

We're working on getting our daughter evaluated by a neuropsych to see whether there are any sort of therapies that might be helpful for her. But in the meantime, I am sort of desperately trying to find out what the outcomes have been for other people in similar situations. I know every injury is different, and everyone recovers differently. But it would still be helpful to hear from other people who've dealt with this kind of thing.

Thank you.
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Unread 05-30-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
headup
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I am researching this because I had a concussion at 5 or 6 years old. My chiropractor suspects that it's an old head trauma (I'm 61) that caused multiple back and spinal alignment problems. There are two alternative areas I am currently using - chiropractic and homeopathic treatments and will most likely see my MD for a possible scan to see if there is damage to the prefrontal area. Both could be complementary to anything that your MD prescribes.
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Unread 06-01-2011, 09:50 AM   #3
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Dear Headup,

Thank you so much for your response. Could I ask whether you believe your concussion caused any behavioral changes or other difficulties (such as issues in school), either short-term or long-term?

I hope you have success with the treatments you're getting now. We're seeing a couple of specialists now, and I will ask whether they recommend any alternative treatments for our daughter.

Thank you again



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Originally Posted by headup View Post
I am researching this because I had a concussion at 5 or 6 years old. My chiropractor suspects that it's an old head trauma (I'm 61) that caused multiple back and spinal alignment problems. There are two alternative areas I am currently using - chiropractic and homeopathic treatments and will most likely see my MD for a possible scan to see if there is damage to the prefrontal area. Both could be complementary to anything that your MD prescribes.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
headup
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I believe so, yes - but that's just my undiagnosed opinion. It's actually a relief to think that some of my learning problems - mostly memory, and social behavior and lack of discriminating thinking - might have been caused by a concussion, rather than feeling alienated because I was "weird". Your daughter can probably be monitored by you and her doctors closely enough to provide her with ways to manage the changes through therapies and coping tools that didn't exist when I was little.
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Unread 08-15-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
Junebug77
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My son suffered a head injury at the age of 4yrs3mos which resulted in him losing consciousness for less than a few minutes and three stitches on his forehead. I monitored him for a concussion but he seemed fine at the time.

I was never given any information at the hospital as to what could be expected from an injury such as this. My son began displaying aggressive behavior and as time went on, all the common symptoms of ADHD which I have now learned are the same symptoms displayed by people that have suffered injury to their frontal cortex. He now (at age 8 and a half) also has a very high anxiety level and symptoms of depression. At this point I don't know whether the behavior/symptoms are from the injury or if he just has ADHD and/or some other disorder (anxiety, depression etc) as I am still in the process of getting a diagnosis for him. It is very frustrating for both him and I.

He is starting a form of biofeedback treatment this week that I am hopeful will be helpful. I'll repost at a later time as an update.

Good luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillia View Post
I was hoping to hear from anyone who's dealt with a concussion in a very young child (under 7 or so) -- whether there were long-term changes, months or years later.

My four-year-old daughter had a frontal lobe concussion in mid-February. She seemed to be recovering well at first -- there were some minor, immediate behavioral changes (sleep disturbances, moodiness), but we assumed these would subside as she recovered. About a month after the injury, she suddenly began showing more unnerving behavioral changes -- odd/inappropriate emotional responses (such as giggling uncontrollably in response to things that previously would have upset her, which then spirals into a period of increasingly hyper behavior), increasing inability to focus during conversation, loss of attention span, etc. The pediatric neurologist said these types of behaviors are common after frontal-lobe injuries but suggested that they usually fade within a month or two after the injury.

But these things seem to be getting worse rather than better. And I've been obsessively researching in an effort to educate myself on what to expect, and the research I've seen is so frightening. I thought the conventional wisdom was that children recover better from brain injuries than adults, because their brains are still developing. But I guess now the idea is that this means the damage they sustain is actually much worse. Some of the articles indicate that frontal-lobe concussions in very young children (under 7 or so) can actually can prevent the affected areas of the brain from ever developing. So a child may seem to have recovered, but then (as years pass) falls further and further behind socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Or learning deficits and behavioral problems may appear years later.

We're working on getting our daughter evaluated by a neuropsych to see whether there are any sort of therapies that might be helpful for her. But in the meantime, I am sort of desperately trying to find out what the outcomes have been for other people in similar situations. I know every injury is different, and everyone recovers differently. But it would still be helpful to hear from other people who've dealt with this kind of thing.

Thank you.
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Unread 08-20-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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Hello

just wanted to leave the link to our forum for post concussion syndrome and TBI
http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/forum92.html

there is a lot of information there
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Unread 09-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
amyl3
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Default similar experience

Lillia- my then 5 year old son had a TBI with concussion. He had a very long recovery. The symptoms you describe with your daughter are exactly what we saw with our son. He was very emotional and often became giddy, out-of -control with laughter and running around. He was seen by our concussion clinic and under their care for more than 2 years. During that time, his symptoms slowly improved but recurred with any bump to the head. He wore a protected helmet and had to go to school with an aid so he would not get bumped or hit his head-no running, jumping etc... until symptoms were completely gone. It's hard to keep a boy down! The concussion clinic recommended that he could not hit his head at all at the risk of dying from second concussion while the first is not healed. Now, no concussion-prone activities for the rest of his life-quite a struggle to way the risk of activities and say no to soccer and basketball.
He is now 10, doing great and tested fine last year for any cognitive, executive function, etc...He does seem unorganized, has difficulty attending at times but more typical "boy" than clinical. A few strategies between home and school was all it took to get him on the ball.
However, watch her growth. My son's growth slowed tremendously following the head injury. At age 9, he was finally tested and diagnosed with pituitary disfunction-the head injury damaged his pituitary gland-he does not produce enough growth hormone or melatonin. We now give him shots every night and melatonin.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillia View Post
I was hoping to hear from anyone who's dealt with a concussion in a very young child (under 7 or so) -- whether there were long-term changes, months or years later.

My four-year-old daughter had a frontal lobe concussion in mid-February. She seemed to be recovering well at first -- there were some minor, immediate behavioral changes (sleep disturbances, moodiness), but we assumed these would subside as she recovered. About a month after the injury, she suddenly began showing more unnerving behavioral changes -- odd/inappropriate emotional responses (such as giggling uncontrollably in response to things that previously would have upset her, which then spirals into a period of increasingly hyper behavior), increasing inability to focus during conversation, loss of attention span, etc. The pediatric neurologist said these types of behaviors are common after frontal-lobe injuries but suggested that they usually fade within a month or two after the injury.

But these things seem to be getting worse rather than better. And I've been obsessively researching in an effort to educate myself on what to expect, and the research I've seen is so frightening. I thought the conventional wisdom was that children recover better from brain injuries than adults, because their brains are still developing. But I guess now the idea is that this means the damage they sustain is actually much worse. Some of the articles indicate that frontal-lobe concussions in very young children (under 7 or so) can actually can prevent the affected areas of the brain from ever developing. So a child may seem to have recovered, but then (as years pass) falls further and further behind socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Or learning deficits and behavioral problems may appear years later.

We're working on getting our daughter evaluated by a neuropsych to see whether there are any sort of therapies that might be helpful for her. But in the meantime, I am sort of desperately trying to find out what the outcomes have been for other people in similar situations. I know every injury is different, and everyone recovers differently. But it would still be helpful to hear from other people who've dealt with this kind of thing.

Thank you.
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Unread 12-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #8
alissaafonina
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My brain injury was much later, but also frontal lobe. I was 17. I had and still have the symptoms that you described, but they were more intense in the months immedietly after.
I still suffer from not having full control of my emotions and impulsiveness. Concentration can be trained and learned I believe, and in my non professional opinion I suggest that you start early with your kids. Get them to read more, introduce better planning skills so that they adapt to any problems they may have later in life when things are more demanding.
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Unread 12-08-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
dadams
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Hello, I am new to this forum. While investigating the very same question you have asked, this thread jumped out at me.
I was a very young, naive mom when my son, at age 18mos, fell very hard and hit his forehead on the cement. He didn't lose consciousness, but after the initial trauma he fell several more times over the course of several months re-injuring the forehead in the same spot, I believe because his reflexes appeared to be diminished for some time following the initial injury. His pediatrician recommended nothing, accept putting a helmet on him. No suggestion of concussion. No follow up. He eventually stopped falling, but developed a calcium deposit on his forehead which remained for about 7 years.
He is now 19 years old. He is a big teddy-bear with a big heart. But he also suffers terrible mood swings which appear out of the blue and has a very difficult time controlling his anger and frustration. He has very little impulse control, and has difficulty with filtering. He was coded throughout his school years as learning disabled due to very poor processing skills. He was not ADHD.
I suspect, and it has been suggested, that he may have developed lesions in the frontal lobe and possibly a similar calcium deposit may still remain on the inside of his skull, opposite the outside one, which could be applying pressure on the brain.
It has now affected him in his adult life to the point where I feel he should be tested and receive guidance specific to his injury. He was fired from his first job, and consequently arrested for an outburst a work. His former employer testified that his "impulsive behavior" was very out of character for him. He understands at this point that he may need to seek treatment in order to lead a normal life.
Now, 18 years later, and with more advanced research, we are finally making the connection between his childhood brain injury and his unwarranted behaviors.
Monitor your childs injury for lasting effects. As I said, I was young and naive, and didnt get the guidance and support I should have from his Doctor. Insist upon more testing and treatment if you feel it is needed. And be sure the injury and list of symptoms is on the childs medical record, and is noted at any and all future appointments so ALL physicians are aware of its possible connection to any illnesses or behaviors!! I cannot emphasize that enough!
Good Luck!!!
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Unread 01-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #10
Taaty5
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I have a 35 year old family member that that received a blow to the forehead by a see saw at the age of 3. He received a number of stitches to his head and no further treatment. Growing up he was labeled as a poor student and trouble maker. Fast forward 30+ years- he has chronic anxiety and panic attack episodes. Applying, interviewing, or even looking at want ads seems to be an impossible task, much to the frustration of his wife. With much coaching and support he has secured part time retail employment only to seemingly self-sabotage or quit. He exhibits impulsive behavior and has recently developed a gambling addiction which causes further financial stress on his wife of 10 + years. He doesn't seem to understand or care of the stress his love ones deal with. Often saying he's the victim because his wife want him to work and he thinks he should continue to go to school and work towards his "phd". He's been in school full time for over 8 years now and still has yet to pass and accumulate enough credits to even be considered a sophomore. With all this going on, they decided to go to counseling. While assessing his behavior and point of view; the counselor could not help but noticed the pronounced scarring on his forehead. It has been determined that a majority of his behavior exhibited over all these years is directly related to the frontal lobe injury from his accident at the age of 3. His wife, child, and family love him and will continue to support him, but we're not sure what to do now.
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