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Dev Neuropsychol. 2003;24(2-3):669-704.

Early brain injury in children: development and reorganization of cognitive function.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center 77030, USA.


Children who sustain congenital or acquired brain injury typically experience a diffuse insult that impacts many areas of the brain. Yet research has only recently begun to examine the development of these children, who often provide excellent examples of the presence or absence of neural plasticity. Development and recovery after such injuries reflects both restoration and reorganization of cognitive functions. To understand these processes, research should focus on questions and assessment paradigms oriented toward the acquisition (rather than the recovery) of cognitive functions. Outcomes may appear similar across types of insults, even when the sources of difficulties and their neural correlates are different. Comparisons of outcomes involving intellectual functions, memory and learning, reading, and language/discourse in children who sustain congenital injury (spina bifida meningomyelocele) and acquired injury (traumatic brain injury) illustrate these principles and the value of research on diffuse brain injury in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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