A study supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research found that over 20% of Ontario middle and high school students experienced a traumatic brain injury. The data was derived from 8,915 participants who were responding to a survey regarding substance abuse. 56% of the youth who reported experiencing brain injuries stated that they were sports-related. The occurrence of brain injury was also correlated with poor grades and a more frequent use of marijuana and alcohol.
The Ontario study identifies a high occurrence rate in a vulnerable population. These young people are at risk for second injuries and there is a likelihood of learning, mental health and substance abuse problems. The “one of five” ratio is astounding. Will these youngsters remain at risk? What can we expect as they become adults and age?
Source reference: Ilie G, et al “Prevalence and correlates of traumatic brain injuries among adolescents” JAMA 2013; 309: 2550-2552.