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Childhood brain injuries, including concussions, are associated with an increased risk of subsequent mental illness, poor school attainment and premature death, according to a study published today in PLOS Medicine.

Child head x-ray © Puwadol Jaturawutthichai - Shutterstock

An Oxford University-led research team, in the UK, US and Sweden, funded by Wellcome, analysed data from more than a million Swedes born between 1973 and 1985 to examine the long-term impact of having a traumatic brain injury before the age of 25.

Professor Seena Fazel from Oxford University, lead author of the study, explained: 'Swedish data recording makes it possible to link anonymised health, welfare and education records. We looked at low educational attainment, instances of psychiatric care, receiving welfare and disability benefit and early death.

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