Prédire et évaluer les conséquences des commotions et traumatismes crânio-cérébraux précoces

 

Miriam Beauchamp

Université de Montréal

 

Domaine : Santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2016-2017

Concussions and brain injuries are a frequent cause of death and disability in youth, and children under the age of six are at particularly high risk. Studies in older children have shown that brain injuries can cause serious mental, psychological, social, and behaviour problems. Even mild injuries have the potential to cause lasting problems in children because of subtle changes to the way the brain works. Recently, international teams have been working to better understand the course of recovery in children who sustain concussion or brain injury; however, children under six years have systematically been excluded from this research. This is highly problematic because of the high prevalence and heightened developmental vulnerability of infants and toddlers.

Currently, we do not know how problems first appear in the early years after brain injury in preschool children, or what initial signs and symptoms might help us predict development in later years. This research program will investigate the functioning of young children after they sustain brain injuries. We will also conduct brain imaging research in children and adolescents with TBI of all ages to determine what are the most sensitive tools that can be used in hospitals to help us predict who will recover well, and who will need additional care and resources. The results will help us better understand how problems develop after brain injuries even in the youngest and most sensitive paediatric age group. In turn, the findings will help us to develop clear guidelines for doctors and health practitioners to follow when treating young children after a concussion or brain injury.

We will also be able to quickly identify preschoolers, children and adolescents who are at-risk for developing problems and provide them and their families with support and resources to improve their development and prevent problems before they occur.