Advanced scans to help children with head injuries | Action Medical Research

Touching Lives - April 2016

Advanced scans to help children with head injuries

Serious head injuries can cause lasting damage and life-changing disabilities. New brain scans could give early, more accurate diagnosis to ensure the best possible care.

Head injuries are common in children and usually happen unexpectedly, such as in falls or other accidents. They can be very dangerous if they damage the brain and seriously affected children can experience ongoing difficulties which have a major impact on their lives.

These may not be obvious straight away and can include problems with memory, concentration and learning, or behavioural issues such as aggression.

Professor David Sharp, of Imperial College London, hopes to develop advanced brain scans that provide valuable information on the sort of damage a head injury has caused and how this might affect a child in the future. He hopes to reveal links between different patterns of injury and different problems children can experience.

“This may enable doctors to identify which children need help, predict how their injury is likely to affect them and identify what sort of treatment and educational support they need,” he explains.

“Since most modern MRI scanners can perform these scans, our work could benefit children across the UK and beyond,” he concludes.

This project has been jointly funded with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

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