Depression and cognitive sequelae after a traumatic brain lesion

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INTRODUCTION: To improve rehabilitation in young people with an acquired brain injury, the Danish Ministry of Health initiated the "National study on young brain injury survivors" in 2012. Using data from this initiative, we examined the changes in depression, cognition, global functional outcome and return to work/school among young traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors. METHOD: This was an observational one-year follow-up study based on data from "Danish registry for young adults with acquired brain injury". The main measures were Major Depression Inventory, neuropsychological examination, and Glasgow Outcome Scale - extended (GOS-E). RESULTS: A total of 76 young TBI survivors attended two interdisciplinary examinations and had complete data. Sixty-six (86.8%) had rehabilitation between the two visits, and the global functional outcome was vastly higher at the second visit (z = -3.373, p = 0.0007). At the first versus the second visit, the prevalence proportion of depression was 14.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): 7.5-24.4) versus 10.5% (95% CI: 4.7-19.7), and for cognitive sequelae it was 31.6% (95% CI: 21.4-43.3) versus 19.7% (95% CI: 11.5-30.5). Patients with depression and/or cognitive sequelae had a lower GOS-E score (p = 0.0016) than patients without depression/cognitive sequelae and a negative association was found between depression, cognitive sequelae and return to work/school (p = 0.045). CONCLUSION: Emotional and cognitive rehabilitation for young TBI survivors seems essential as depression and cognitive sequelae are associated with a lower global functional outcome and return to work/school.none. TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA02220108
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


  • Young Adult
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Depression/epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Brain Injuries/complications
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic/complications
  • Cognition
  • Disease Progression
  • Brain


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