ADHD Tied to Increased Concussion Risk for Kids

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, occurs in approximately 7 percent of children and youth worldwide. Researchers recently reviewed health insurance data on over 72,000 youth with ADHD, and a control group of others without ADHD, all between 3 and 29 years old and made a disturbing discovery. They found a significant correlation between having ADHD and experiencing traumatic bring injury.

In fact, they found that the rate of incidence of traumatic brain injury for youth with ADHD, which occurred in nearly 10% of the youth in the study, was 4.6 times higher than the rate of incidence of traumatic brain injury for youth without ADHD (2.2%) in a control group.

4.3% of the ADHD group had experienced a concussion, compared with just 1% of the control group.

The study’s author, Dr. Mu-Hong Chen, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, drew a connection between ADHD and impulsivity which can lead to risky behavior. It isn’t immediately clear whether ADHD leads to riskier behavior which results in traumatic brain injury, or whether traumatic brain injury leads to ADHD, but what was apparent was that starting children on ADHD medication at an earlier age seems to decrease the likelihood of traumatic brain injury.

Key Points:

  • 1There is a link between ADHD diagnosis and experiencing a Traumatic Brain Injury.
  • 2While the study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how ADHD might directly cause brain injuries, it’s possible the condition makes children more reckless.
  • 3Worldwide, up to about seven percent of children and teens and two percent of young adults have ADHD.

Helmets should always be worn by children engaging in at-risk activities such as cycling or skateboarding.

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