Items in AFP with MESH term: Brain Injuries

Evaluation of Clumsiness in Children - Article

ABSTRACT: Parents and physicians often dismiss seemingly minor motor difficulties in children. Approximately 6 percent of school-aged children have coordination problems serious enough to interfere with academic performance and social integration. These problems often arise during the early school years and manifest in difficulties with such simple motor tasks as running, buttoning, or using scissors. Increasing evidence shows that rather than improving over time, these motor difficulties remain stable throughout adolescence and adulthood. While these children are initially singled out for motor difficulties, their problems are rarely limited to poor motor coordination. Many of them have a range of associated deficits, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, poor handwriting and drawing skills, and emotional immaturity. Associated problems magnify with time, and as teenagers, these children have higher rates of educational, social, and emotional problems. Diagnosis is determined by taking a careful history that includes a review of fine motor, visual, adaptive, and gross motor milestones, and performing a physical examination. Formal standardized testing may be indicated. Referral to occupational therapy that is appropriately individualized to the needs of each child appears to be effective. To aid in management, the family physician must be aware of this condition, as well as the associated coexisting deficits.


Care of the Returning Veteran - Article

ABSTRACT: Of the 23.8 million military veterans living in the United States, approximately 3 million have served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The injuries and illnesses that affect veterans returning from combat are predictable. Blast injuries are common and most often present as mild traumatic brain injury, which is synonymous with concussion. Family physicians caring for returning veterans will also encounter conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder at rates higher than those in the general population. The symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury often overlap and can present concurrently. Treatment of traumatic brain injury should be based on symptoms and guided by clinical practice guidelines from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. Family physicians should understand the range of post-war health concerns and screen returning service members for posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicidality, and clinical depression. Family physicians are well positioned to offer continuity of care for issues affecting returning service members and to coordinate the delivery of specialized care when needed. (Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(1):43-49. Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians.)


Neuropsychological Evaluation in Primary Care - Article

ABSTRACT: Referring a patient to a neuropsychologist for evaluation provides a level of rigorous assessment of brain function that often cannot be obtained in other ways. The neuropsychologist integrates information from the patient’s medical history, laboratory tests, and imaging studies; an in-depth interview; collateral information from the family and other sources; and standardized assessment instruments to draw conclusions about diagnosis, prognosis, and response to therapy. Family physicians can use this information in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with depression, dementia, concussion, and similar conditions, as well as to address concerns about decision-making capacity. Certain assessment instruments, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination and Patient Health Questionnaire–9, are readily available and easily performed in a primary care office. Distinguishing among depression, dementia, and other conditions can be challenging, and consultation with a neuropsychologist at this level can be diagnostic and therapeutic. The neuropsychologist typically helps the patient, family, and primary care team by establishing decision-making capacity; determining driving safety; identifying traumatic brain injury deficits; distinguishing dementia from depression and other conditions; and detecting malingering. Neuropsychologists use a structured set of therapeutic activities to improve a patient’s ability to think, use judgment, and make decisions (cognitive rehabilitation). Repeat neuropsychological evaluation can be invaluable in monitoring progression and treatment effects.


Hypothermia for Neuroprotection in Adults After Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - Cochrane for Clinicians


NIH Issues Consensus Statement on the Rehabilitation of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury - Special Medical Reports


AHRQ Releases Evidence Report on Brain Injury in Children - Practice Guidelines


Subacute to Chronic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - Article

ABSTRACT: Although a universally accepted definition is lacking, mild traumatic brain injury and concussion are classified by transient loss of consciousness, amnesia, altered mental status, a Glasgow Coma Score of 13 to 15, and focal neurologic deficits following an acute closed head injury. Most patients recover quickly, with a predictable clinical course of recovery within the first one to two weeks following traumatic brain injury. Persistent physical, cognitive, or behavioral postconcussive symptoms may be noted in 5 to 20 percent of persons who have mild traumatic brain injury. Physical symptoms include headaches, dizziness, and nausea, and changes in coordination, balance, appetite, sleep, vision, and hearing. Cognitive and behavioral symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and irritability, and problems with memory, concentration and decision making. Women, older adults, less educated persons, and those with a previous mental health diagnosis are more likely to have persistent symptoms. The diagnostic workup for subacute to chronic mild traumatic brain injury focuses on the history and physical examination, with continuing observation for the development of red flags such as the progression of physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms, seizure, progressive vomiting, and altered mental status. Early patient and family education should include information on diagnosis and prognosis, symptoms, and further injury prevention. Symptom-specific treatment, gradual return to activity, and multidisciplinary coordination of care lead to the best outcomes. Psychiatric and medical comorbidities, psychosocial issues, and legal or compensatory incentives should be explored in patients resistant to treatment.



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