Better pathway for children and adolescents with acquired brain injury

Capital Region of Denmark has earmarked funds for a new project to elucidate whether children and adolescents with acquired brain injury are receiving the right rehabilitation and follow-up. The aim is stronger collaboration and better cohesion across sectors to benefit children and young people with brain injuries.


​Capital Region of Denmark has earmarked DKK 0.5 million for a new project to elucidate whether children and adolescents under 18 years are receiving the right rehabilitation and follow-up. The Capital Region of Denmark hopes that the funding will improve neurorehabilitation for children and young people and strengthen collaboration across sectors.

"A brain injury can have serious consequences for children and adolescents if they do not receive the right help at the right time. The grant will enable us to investigate how we can establish better pathways and coherent interventions that can help children to the best treatment and rehabilitation,“ said Professor Christoffer Buster Reinhardt (Conservative People's Party), chairman of the health committee at the Capital Region of Denmark.

Brain injury in a child comes at a critical time, when the brain has not yet fully developed. This can have serious consequences for the child's development.

An injury can affect many aspects of a child's life, and the effects can last well into adulthood. The consequences of the brain injury can become clearer as a child gets older, and there is also a higher risk of developing psychological problems. This imposes special requirements for evaluation and interventions.

Children and young people with an acquired brain injury need comprehensive neurorehabilitation involving many different players across hospitals, the primary healthcare sector and municipalities. For example, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, neuropsychologists, physicians, school teachers, preschool teachers and relatives will all have an important role in ensuring the best treatment.

The project will be based at the Knowledge Centre for Neurorehabilitation under the Neuroscience Centre at Rigshospitalet. The knowledge centre is part of overall efforts by the Capital Region for patients with injured brain or spinal cord. Project manager, Linda Sundekilde, explains that the project will consist of three elements: Description of practice in the relevant departments in the Capital Region of Denmark, training programmes for health professionals and testing specific initiatives that can improve cross-disciplinary work.

"An important focus will be to ensure a high level of specialist evaluation of children's rehabilitation needs, irrespective of which hospital department in the region they were admitted to. Furthermore, the project will look at the possibilities for better follow-up across sectors after the child has been discharged from hospital and gradually returns to a normal life at home with family, at preschool, at school or elsewhere," said Linda Sundekilde.

The project was launched in May 2022 and will run until the end of April 2023. 


  • Acquired brain injury is incurred through sickness or an accident The term acquired brain injury applies if the injury arises 28 days after birth or later.
  • About 1,550 children and young people per year are admitted at national level, which is considerably lower than the number of adults with acquired brain injury. 
  • In general more boys than girls are admitted to Danish hospitals with acquired brain injury. The difference is more pronounced in connection with traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain injury caused by lack of oxygen, toxins and other harmful impacts to the brain. 
  • One of the biggest challenges following acquired brain injury is that the consequences are often not detected in time, and the consequences can gradually develop and become more severe over time. 
  • Children and adolescents with acquired brain injury will often have comprehensive after-effects in many aspects of life. There may be psychomotor, mental and behavioural after-effects, sight and speech difficulties, personality changes, sensory disturbances, fatigue and headache. This requires strong collaboration across sectors to ensure the right neurorehabilitation for the individual child/adolescent.

Read more at Knowledge Centre for Neurorehabilitation at Rigshospitalet - Glostrup

Press contact

  • Linda Sundekilde, project manager, Knowledge Centre for Neurorehabilitation, tel. +45 38 63 42 85
  • Christoffer Buster Reinhardt (Conservative People's Party) via the Capital Region of Denmark press office, tel. +45 7020 9588​

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