Study: Disabling brain injuries could be exacerbated by ADHD

Medical researchers at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh may have uncovered an interesting -- and perhaps unexpected -- link between two medical conditions. One of the doctors who contributed to the study noted a connection between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and the severity of head injuries among children she treated over the years, and looked further into the phenomenon. Her study connected brain injuries with a lengthy recovery to the neurological condition.

For parents, helping a child recover from a serious injury can be taxing. Not only can childhood health problems create stress for parents, but they can also have serious financial costs. This is one reason why Supplemental Security Income benefits are made available to children with a disability who meet certain financial qualifications.

Brain injuries can create a number of problems for those who sustain them, including erratic behavior and loss of cognitive functions. However, the Pittsburgh researchers found that kids living with ADHD "were much more likely than kids without the disorder to suffer a moderate disability after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury." As such, parents and children in this situation may be more likely to seek disability benefits.

One thing medical professionals point out is that the behavior that accompanies ADHD already puts those children at a higher risk of sustaining injuries. As such, the recently released study may only add to the list of concerns for many parents.

The days and months after a child sustains a serious injury can be confusing and frustrating for his or her parents. As such, it may be helpful to determine what resources exist to alleviate the financial and emotional strain created by a medical condition.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "ADHD May Be Tied to Longer-Lasting Head Injury, Study Says," Maureen Salamon, June 25, 2013

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