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Predicting the future for patients with severe traumatic brain injury
Date:11/17/2008

eir results, we can give families an idea of the patient's incapacities and progress after the trauma," J. Leblanc explained. "There are many factors that influence post-traumatic recovery, but the measurement scales are complex enough that we can make realistic predictions about patients' future physical, cognitive or emotional states."

Persistent cognitive and emotional deficiencies

The study was based on the follow-up of 46 patients from 2 to 5 years after an accident that led to a sTBI. The patients took the GOS-E, NRS-R and FIM tests again for the study. The researchers then compared their results with those from the same tests performed when the patients were discharged from acute care hospital.

The researchers found that these patients' physical function and ability to perform daily tasks had improved over time. However, their cognitive and emotional faculties, meaning their ability to perform more complex tasks and to cope in society, did not develop to the same extent.

"These cognitive and emotional deficiencies can have major consequences: most of our patients could not keep the same job after their accidents," said Feyz. "This leads to other psycho-social problems that often result in psychological vulnerability. Out of all the patients observed in this study, 52% presented depressive or anxiety disorders two to five years after the trauma."

The effects of a serious accident that leads to a sTBI are not limited to patients alone: their friends and family members, as well as the entire health care system, are also affected, which has emotional and financial consequences. Prevention is still the best way to manage these kinds of events.


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Contact: Isabelle Kling
isabelle.kling@muhc.mcgill.ca
514-843-1560
McGill University Health Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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