Traumatic Brain Injury and Dementia

A recent study to investigate dementia and traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, did not find any link, but did show a surprisingly increased risk of re-injury.

Over 55s Most at Risk of New Injury

The risk of another traumatic brain injury more than doubled if the first injury occurred before age 25 and almost quadrupled if the injury happened after age 55.  Senior author Kristen Dams-O’Connor, assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at Icahn School of Medicine, said older patients with a traumatic brain injury should try to avoid another head injury by watching their balance and taking care of their overall health.

No Dementia Link Found

The study followed people aged 75 on average, whom at the start of the study did not suffer from dementia.  Over 16 years of follow-up, researchers found that those with a traumatic brain injury and loss of consciousness at any time in their life had no increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

Study however is Limited

Dr. Danny Liang, neurosurgeon at North Shore-LIJ Cushing Neuroscience Institute thinks these findings are too narrow to say much about the risk of dementia following traumatic brain injury.  “It is also possible that there were people who had traumatic brain injury who did develop dementia before age 65, so they were not included in the study.”  There also was no data on injury severity or duration of unconsciousness; brain injuries differ, and knowing the severity is important to determine the ultimate outcome, he said.

Head Injury UK: Brain Injury Claim Experts

Whilst the dementia findings are interesting more research is needed in this area, however since brain injury victims are at a significantly increased danger of suffering future head injury, this risk must be taken into account in their rehabilitation.  At Head Injury UK we specialise in representing head injury victims, so if you are a loved one have suffered a head injury caused by someone else, contact Andy Shaw to see how we can help you.


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