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Bhanu Sharma and Brian W. Timmons

The multidisciplinary field of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) and exercise medicine is of growing importance. There is active study into the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of exercise in pediatric TBI as well as the effects of TBI on postinjury fitness. With the evidence-based growing, a literature review can help establish the state of the science and inform future research. Therefore, the authors performed a narrative review (based on a search of 6 health sciences databases) to summarize evidence on pediatric TBI and cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and neuromotor control, and obesity. To date, studies related to cardiorespiratory fitness have centered on exercise tolerance and readiness to return to play, and indicate that protracted rest may not facilitate symptom recovery; this suggests a role for exercise in concussion management. Furthermore, strength and gait may be impaired following pediatric brain injury, and interventions designed to train these impairments may lead to their improvement. Pediatric brain injury can also lead to changes in body composition (which may be related to poorer cognitive recovery), but additional research is required to better understand such associations. This narrative review of pediatric TBI and exercise medicine can serve as a reference for researchers and clinicians alike.