Research Shows Old Age Slows Brain Injury Recovery

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There are many factors that can influence how long it takes an individual to recover from a traumatic brain injury. According to a new study published in Radiology, one of those factors is age.


old man with TBI
Researchers from Shuang-Ho Hospital in New Taipei City, Taiwan found older adults take longer on average to recover from concussion compared to younger patients.

David Yen-Ting Chen, MD, a radiologist at Shuang-Ho Hospital and evaluated 13 adults between the ages of 51 to 68 and compared them to 13 young adults with similar injuries between the ages of 21 to 30. The participants were evaluated four weeks after experiencing a traumatic brain injury, and again 10 weeks after the initial injury.

Among the young patients, the researchers saw a significant decline in concussion symptoms including problems with working memory between the two assessments, but no such decrease in symptoms was found in the older population.

“The results suggest that mild traumatic brain injury might cause a more profound and lasting effect in older patients,” study coauthor Ying-Chi Tseng, MD, of Shuang-Ho Hospital, said in a news release from the Radiological Society of North America.

The findings show the need for the development of targeted treatments for specific age groups of concussion patients, according to the researchers.

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