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Psychosocial outcome of TBI in children with unilateral frontal lesions



To evaluate effects of unilateral frontal lesions on psychosocial and global outcome of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children, Study 1 compared matched groups of 22 school aged children who had sustained TBI either with or without unilateral frontal lesions. Study 2 evaluated effects of unilateral extrafrontal lesions in 18 TBI patients as compared with 18 nonlesional TBI patients. Communication, Daily Living, and Socialization domains and the Maladaptive Behavior Scale of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) were used to assess psychosocial outcome, and the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) measured global outcome. All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging at least 3 months post injury. Children with frontal lesions had worse scores on the Daily Living and Socialization domains and a higher frequency of maladaptive behavior than those without frontal lesions, but there was no difference in cognitive function. Disability was twice as common in the frontal lesion group relative to children without frontal lesions. Volume of frontal lesion was related to the Socialization domain. Side of lesion had no effect, nor did presence of an extrafrontal lesion (Study 2). Unilateral frontal lesions adversely affect late psychosocial outcome of TBI in children. (JINS, 2004, 10, 305–316.)


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Reprint requests to: Harvey S. Levin, Ph.D., Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Baylor College of Medicine, 6560 Fannin St., Suite 1144, Box 67, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:


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