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Head Injuries May Increase Depression Risk in Children, Study Says

Oct 26, 2013 08:04 AM EDT

Children who have suffered from head injuries are at a higher risk of suffering from depression in the future, a new study has found.

The study was based on data from 2,000 children enrolled in the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. All the children observed in the study had suffered from a head injury.

It was also found that15 percent of children with a history of brain injury suffered from depression when compared to those who had not experienced one.

"After adjustment for known predictors of depression in children like family structure, developmental delay and poor physical health, depression remained two times more likely in children with brain injury or concussion," Matthew C. Wylie, MD,  one of the study authors, said in a news release. "Depression in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or Concussion."

Many studies look at how head injuries affect adults. However, very few studies have tried to find how a child's brain deals with a severe injury. One such study had earlier shown that children's brains take longer to recover from a head injury if they have had concussions before.

Researchers believe that the study can help identify kids and teens who are at higher risk of depression and treat them accordingly.

The study was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando

According to Sherilyn W. Driscoll, M.D., head injuries in children carries several health risks ranging from memory loss to severe brain swelling. Concussions don't always involve losing consciousness and so might go unnoticed. Other symptoms of brain injury include headache, dizziness, vomiting, pressure inside the head and confusion.

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