Adults who have suffered head injuries may be at a higher risk for depression, but new research shows children suffer the same risk.
Researchers are working to identify the risk factors for depression in children who have suffered concussions and other brain injuries, an American Academy of Pediatrics news release reported.
The team looked at data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health. Their study included 2,000 children with brain injuries.
In 2007 there was a child brain injury rate of 1.9 percent, which was mirrored by the number of study subjects with the same condition. The study also included 3,112 who had been diagnosed with depression, also reflecting on the national child depression rate of 3.7 percent.
The team concluded that 15 percent of the children that had suffered a brain injury were also diagnosed with depression. This could mean children suffering from a brain injury are 4.9 times more likely to struggle with depression as well.
"After adjustment for known predictors of depression in children like family structure, developmental delay and poor physical health, depression remained two times more likely in children with brain injury or concussion,"study author Matthew C. Wylie, MD, author of the abstract, "Depression in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or Concussion," said.
The study is considered to be the largest analysis of the connection between childhood brain injuries and depression.
"[The study] may enable better prognostication for brain-injured children and facilitate identification of those at high risk of depression," Dr. Wylie said.
For every 10 adults that have not suffered a traumatic brain injury one will suffer from depression; for every 10 adults that have suffered a brain injury about three will be depressed, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported.
"People with depression feel sad, lack energy or feel tired, or have difficulty enjoying routine events almost daily. Other symptoms include difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, poor attention or concentration, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, or thoughts of suicide," HHS reported.