KOALA Study

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Kids’ Outcomes and Long-term Abilities after Early Traumatic Brain Injury

Study Summary

The Kids’ Outcomes and Long-term Abilities (KOALA) study is a prospective, multicentre longitudinal cohort study of children aged 6 months to 6 years led by Dr. Miriam Beauchamp (Université de Montréal). Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is highly prevalent, especially in children under 6 years of age. However, relative to older children and adults, little research has focused on the consequences of mTBI early in development. The objective of KOALA is to document the impact of early mTBI on a wide range of domains including children’s physical, cognitive, social, and behavioural functioning, as well as quality of life, stress, sleep, and brain integrity. The study includes children who sustain either an mTBI (n = 100) or an orthopaedic injury (injured control group, n=50) recruited from three pediatric Emergency Departments (EDs) in Canada, and typically developing children of the same age (n=50) recruited from the community. A comprehensive battery of prognostic and outcome measures are conducted in the ED, at 10 days, as well as 1, 3, and 12 months post-injury. Neurobiological measures, including measures of brain structure and function (magnetic resonance imaging), stress (hair cortisol), sleep (actigraphy) and genetics (saliva) complement direct testing of function using developmental psychology and neuropsychological methods and parent questionnaires.

Objectives

  1. To study the consequences of mTBI on physical, cognitive, social and behavioural skills in children aged between 6 months and 6 years of age
  2. To document whether mTBI at this age causes any changes to the structure of the brain, to the quality of children’s sleep, and to the level of stress experienced by children and their parents

Principal Study Investigator: Dr. Miriam Beauchamp

Leading Institution: Université de Montréal

PERT Site Investigator: Dr. Antonia Stang

PERT Site Research Coordinator: Ashley Jones

Study Team: Dr. Keith Yeates, Dr. Lisa Marie Langevin, Heidi O’Brien, Sunny Guo