Study of Recovery of Mental Functions After Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents

what is the Purpose of the study?

The purpose of this study is to identify behavioral and brainmechanisms of recovery of mentalfunctioning following a brain injury in children and adolescents.  This study focuses on cognitive functions such as learning, memory, and problem solving that are frequently impaired after a moderate to severe head injury.

Most patients show significant recovery in their mental and cognitive functions, such as learning, memory and problem solving in the first year post-injury. The mechanisms underlying these changes, however, are poorly understood, especially in children.

We will measure the above functions in head injury patients shortly after the injury and again at one-year post-injury to assess the degree of recovery and its predictors of these functions. 

Evaluations will include: Behavioral Research 3

  • Neurocognitive and Behavioral Assessments
  • Structural and functional brain imaging exams (MRI/fMRI)

why was my child chosen?

Your child was chosen as a potential subject for this study because he/she has recently sustained a head injury requiring medical attention and is between 8 to 18 years of age.

Is my child eligible?

Your child will be considered eligible for this study if he/she:

  • Sustained a moderate to severe head injury
  • Has a good visual acuity or vision corrected with contact lenses
  • Speaks English well enough to understand instructions during the study

However, your child will not be considered eligible for this study if he/she has any of the following:

  • History of major neurological illness, psychiatric disorder, or substance abuse prior to the head injury
  • Motor difficulties that impair him/her from participating in the study tasks
  • Metal implants or devices that preclude an MRI exam

what does the full study involve?

The study involves the participation of parents as well as the child. Your child will be studied during two sessions, which include behavioral and brain imaging exams. To ensure that your child has recovered enough to undergo the first session, project staff will ask you a few short questionsabout your child's memory, attention and ability to stay still prior to scheduling your appointment.  The first session will take place within the first few months after injury, as soon as your child has recovered enough to participate in the project tasks.  The second session will take place one year after the brain injury.

will my child be paid for participating? Brain Imaging 3

Your child may receive up to $300 if he/she completes the study.

How could the evaluation be helpful to my child?

  • The neuropsychological evaluation and the clinical report you receive will be helpful for treatment and educational planning (e.g., return to school).
  • The project clinicians will be available to consult with you regarding any difficulties your child may be having and make appropriate referrals.

How can i sign up for my child to participate in the study?

If your child is eligible for the study and you would like him/her to participate, we will ask that you provide your written consent by signing a form prior to their participation.  Once you have given your consent, your child will have to give consent by signing an assent form. Project staff will be present to give you and your child information concerning the study that may be helpful to you. 


The only people who will know that your child is a research subject are members of the research team. No information about your child provided by you or your child will be disclosed to others, including other family members or your primary care physician, without your written permission, except if necessary to prevent serious harm to your child.