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Study: Traumatic Brain Injury patients with high cognitive reserve recover 7 times better

Car_AccidentPeo­ple with More Edu­ca­tion May Recov­er Bet­ter from Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury (Neu­rol­o­gy):

The study exam­ined peo­ple with mod­er­ate to severe trau­mat­ic brain injuries, most of which were from motor vehi­cle acci­dents or falls. All were tak­en to the emer­gency depart­ment and spent time in the hos­pi­tal after the injury and also for inpa­tient reha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The cog­ni­tive reserve the­o­ry is that peo­ple with more edu­ca­tion have a greater cog­ni­tive reserve, or the brain’s abil­i­ty to main­tain func­tion in spite of dam­age. The con­cept has emerged for brain dis­or­ders such as Alzheimer’s dis­ease, where peo­ple with high­er lev­els of edu­ca­tion have been shown to have few­er symp­toms of the dis­ease than peo­ple with less edu­ca­tion, even when they have the same amount of dam­age in the brain from the dis­ease. But few stud­ies have looked at how cog­ni­tive reserve may affect trau­mat­ic brain injury.

Peo­ple with edu­ca­tion equal to a col­lege degree were more than sev­en times more like­ly to ful­ly recov­er from their injury than peo­ple who did not fin­ish high school,” Schnei­der said. “And peo­ple with some col­lege edu­ca­tion were near­ly five times more like­ly to ful­ly recov­er than those with­out enough edu­ca­tion to earn a high school diplo­ma. We need to learn more about how edu­ca­tion helps to pro­tect the brain and how it affects injury and resilience. Explor­ing these rela­tion­ships will hope­ful­ly help us to iden­ti­fy ways to help peo­ple recov­er bet­ter from trau­mat­ic brain injury.”

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