Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Higher education associated with better recovery from traumatic brain injury

Date:
April 23, 2014
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
Better-educated people appear to be significantly more likely to recover from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting that a brain’s “cognitive reserve” may play a role in helping people get back to their previous lives, new research shows. Researchers found that those with the equivalent of at least a college education are seven times more likely than those who didn't finish high school to be disability-free one year after a TBI serious enough to warrant inpatient time in a hospital and rehabilitation facility.

The findings, while new among TBI investigators, mirror those in Alzheimer's disease research, in which higher educational attainment -- believed to be an indicator of a more active, or more effective, use of the brain's "muscles" and therefore its cognitive reserve -- has been linked to slower progression of dementia.
Credit: xy / Fotolia

Better-educated people appear to be significantly more likely to recover from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting that a brain's "cognitive reserve" may play a role in helping people get back to their previous lives, new Johns Hopkins research shows.

Related Articles


The researchers, reporting in the journal Neurology, found that those with the equivalent of at least a college education are seven times more likely than those who didn't finish high school to be disability-free one year after a TBI serious enough to warrant inpatient time in a hospital and rehabilitation facility.

The findings, while new among TBI investigators, mirror those in Alzheimer's disease research, in which higher educational attainment -- believed to be an indicator of a more active, or more effective, use of the brain's "muscles" and therefore its cognitive reserve -- has been linked to slower progression of dementia.

"After this type of brain injury, some patients experience lifelong disability, while others with very similar damage achieve a full recovery," says study leader Eric B. Schneider, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Center for Surgical Trials and Outcomes Research. "Our work suggests that cognitive reserve -- the brain's ability to be resilient in the face of insult or injury -- could account for the difference."

Schneider conducted the research in conjunction with Robert D. Stevens. M.D., a neuro-intensive care physician with Johns Hopkins' Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.

For the study, the researchers studied 769 patients enrolled in the TBI Model Systems database, an ongoing multi-center cohort of patients funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The patients had been hospitalized with a moderate to severe TBI and subsequently admitted to a rehabilitation facility.

Of the 769 patients, 219 -- or 27.8 percent -- were free of any detectable disability one year after their injury. Twenty-three patients who didn't complete high school -- 9.7 percent of those at that education level -- recovered, while 136 patients with between 12 and 15 years of schooling -- 30.8 percent of those at that educational level -- did. Nearly 40 percent of patients -- 76 of the 194 -- who had 16 or more years of education fully recovered.

Schneider says researchers don't currently understand the biological mechanisms that might account for the link between years of schooling and improved recovery.

"People with increased cognitive reserve capabilities may actually heal in a different way that allows them to return to their pre-injury function and/or they may be able to better adapt and form new pathways in their brains to compensate for the injury," Schneider says. "Further studies are needed to not only find out, but also to use that knowledge to help people with less cognitive reserve."

Meanwhile, he says, "What we learned may point to the potential value of continuing to educate yourself and engage in cognitively intensive activities. Just as we try to keep our bodies strong in order to help us recover when we are ill, we need to keep the brain in the best shape it can be."

Adds Stevens: "Understanding the underpinnings of cognitive reserve in terms of brain biology could generate ideas on how to enhance recovery from brain injury."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. B. Schneider, S. Sur, V. Raymont, J. Duckworth, R. G. Kowalski, D. T. Efron, X. Hui, S. Selvarajah, H. L. Hambridge, R. D. Stevens. Functional recovery after moderate/severe traumatic brain injury: A role for cognitive reserve? Neurology, 2014; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000379

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Higher education associated with better recovery from traumatic brain injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423170659.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2014, April 23). Higher education associated with better recovery from traumatic brain injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423170659.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Higher education associated with better recovery from traumatic brain injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423170659.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins