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Management of Traumatic Brain Injury: Special Considerations for Older Adults

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Abstract

Purpose of Review

This review focuses on the unique challenges facing older adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and provides considerations for appropriate medical treatment.

Recent Findings

Older adults are the fastest growing population to suffer TBI, typically due to falls. Despite less severe injuries based on the Glasgow Coma Scale, older adults more frequently have abnormal head CT findings, are more likely to be admitted to the hospital, and suffer higher mortality than younger adults. Older adults have higher degree of medical comorbidities that require careful management in the acute hospital and rehabilitation settings. Functional gains are typically slower in older adults compared with younger individuals, but older adults can demonstrate similar gains during rehabilitation.

Summary

Older adults represent a growing population that suffers from TBI. It is important for clinicians to take into account the unique challenges this population to ensure greatest functional recovery following injury.

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    Correspondence to Shanti M. Pinto.

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    Mandalaywala, M.D., Crawford, K.M. & Pinto, S.M. Management of Traumatic Brain Injury: Special Considerations for Older Adults. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep 7, 314–322 (2019) doi:10.1007/s40141-019-00239-2

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    Keywords

    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Aging
    • Geriatrics
    • Older adults