Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is very common with about 1.8 million Europeans seeking medical help each year. The effects of TBI range from temporary impairments in cognitive, behavioural, and neurological function to debilitating prolonged posttraumatic symptoms. As a result of the complexity and heterogeneity of this injury, clinical decision-making can be challenging and most importantly, current therapeutic interventions aimed at alleviating symptoms after TBI do not improve long-term outcome.
Although the majority of patients recovers from mTBI, up to 30% will develop long-term symptoms. And even those whose symptoms will ameliorate are at risk for long-lasting alterations of brain tissue characteristics. It is thus important to identify pre- and posttraumatic risk factors associated with prolonged time for recovery to identify targets for early interventions.