Traumatic brain injury and frontal lobe plasticity

Rachel A. Bernier, Frank G. Hillary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Over 1.4 million people in the United States experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year and approximately 52,000 people die annually due to complications related to TBI. Traditionally, TBI has been viewed as a static injury with significant consequences for frontal lobe functioning that plateaus after some window of recovery, remaining relatively stable thereafter. However, over the past decade there has been growing consensus that the consequences of TBI are dynamic, with unique characteristics expressed at the individual level and over the life span. This chapter first discusses the pathophysiology of TBI in order to understand its dynamic process and then describes the behavioral changes that are the result of injury with focus on frontal lobe functions. It integrates a historical perspective on structural and functional brain-imaging approaches used to understand how TBI impacts the frontal lobes, as well as more recent approaches to examine large-scale network changes after TBI. The factors most useful for outcome prediction are surveyed, along with how the theoretical frameworks used to predict recovery have developed over time. In this chapter, the authors argue for the need to understand outcome after TBI as a dynamic process with individual trajectories, taking a network theory perspective to understand the consequences of disrupting frontal systems in TBI. Within this framework, understanding frontal lobe dysfunction within a larger coordinated neural network to study TBI may provide a novel perspective in outcome prediction and in developing individualized treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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