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The 5P Study: Predicting and Preventing Post-Concussive Problems in Pediatrics

Principal Investigator: Dr. Roger Zemek

Jointly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF)

There is a high incidence of concussion among children and adolescents. One-third of this demographic experience ongoing symptoms beyond one month, known as persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS). This study introduces a validated clinical prediction score that helps health providers and researchers predict the duration of pediatric concussion symptoms.

This study (over 3,000 children) is led by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and includes nine pediatric emergency departments across Canada. All participants were aged 5-18 years old and evaluated within the first 48-hours after head injury (with most patients evaluated within 3 hours of their injury).

Experts from across Canada and the United States developed a PPCS risk score that when applied to a child within 48-hours of their head injury, was proven to be significantly better than the child’s physician at predicting future PPCS.

The 5P study unveiled several findings. For instance, while boys sustained more concussions, girls had twice the odds of boys for having symptoms last at least one month. In addition, older children and teens have a higher risk of PPCS than children under 8 years old.

“By predicting high or low risk of post-concussion symptoms, we can be more efficient in arranging follow-up. Those at low risk may not need specialty referral, whereas those at high risk could be prioritized for early follow-up with concussion specialists,” said Dr. Roger Zemek.

Before this score is adopted in clinical practice, further research is needed for external validation, assessment of accuracy in an office setting, and determination of clinical utility.

View the published abstract and article

Canadian TBI Research Consortium (CTRC)

Principal Investigators: Dr. James Hutchison and Dr.Alexis Turgeon

This team is composed of more than 100 CIHR funded TBI researchers from coast to coast, including researchers involved in: The National Initiative for TBI Research, ONF and REPAR collaboration, research in aging, and all Canadian researchers involved in the International Initiative for TBI Research (InTBIR) network. The Canadian TBI Research Consortium (CTRC) aims to build stronger links with patients and their representatives, in order to create a collaborative Canadian research network, that prioritizes a standardized approach to risk assessment and harmonizes the collection of data, aligning research activities with international work. This will ultimately strengthen the healthcare system for patients with TBI, improve functional health outcomes, and support the next generation of leaders in TBI research.

International Initiative for TBI Research (InTBIR)

ONF is part of a global initiative known as InTBIR, led by the National Institutes of Health in the United States (NIH), the European Commission (EC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – (CIHR). InTBIR is made of up of funders, researchers, committees, working groups and an International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB). The goal of InTBIR is to coordinate and harmonize clinical research activities across the full spectrum of TBI, with the long-term goal of improving outcomes and lessening the global economic burden of TBI by 2020.

ONF-Provincial Rehabilitation Research Network (REPAR)

The focus of the partnership has been rehabilitation and community-based research in acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury. The goals in fostering and supporting the collaborations were to share expertise, increase capacity for research and clinical relevance, reduce duplication but at the same time increase opportunities for larger study across Canada’s most populous provinces. View more information at the REPAR website.

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NeuroMatters is the source for news and information about research and best practices in injury prevention, care and treatment of spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury.

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