Age as a prognostic factor in episodic memory and executive impairment following traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents

Seweryna Konieczna1,2, Emilia J. Sitek3,4

Affiliation and address for correspondence
Aktualn Neurol 2018, 18 (2), p. 79–84
DOI: 10.15557/AN.2018.0011

Both episodic memory and executive deficits are considered common and clinically significant consequences of traumatic brain injury. The paper reviews the current literature on memory and executive impairment in children and adolescents after traumatic brain injury so as to determine if children who sustained trauma at younger age are more or less vulnerable to persistent deficits in these domains. Apart from the significance of age at injury, the paper addresses a few methodological issues pertaining to the reviewed studies. The most popular methods used to assess episodic memory and executive function in children and adolescents are discussed in terms of their scope and limitations. Studies on the long-term cognitive sequelae of traumatic brain injury in children are scarce, and the scope of episodic memory and executive function assessment seems insufficient to fully understand the pattern of deficits. The profile of cognitive deficits and their trajectory over time is much less understood in children and adolescents than in the adult population after traumatic brain injury. Adolescents are often included in adult groups, which does not contribute to the understanding of deficits in this patient cohort. It seems that early brain injury is associated with poorer long-term prognosis. However, long-term prospective and comprehensive studies on memory and executive dysfunction due to traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents would be needed to fully understand the trajectory of deficits and the importance of the relationship between the time of injury and critical periods in the cognitive development.

craniocerebral trauma, memory impairment, executive disorders

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