TBI Associated With Increased Risk of Subsequent Dementia

12 April, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Concussion in 20s could increase the risk of dementia by 60 per cent, Lancet study finds

In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that traumatic brain injury is associated with an increased risk of dementia.

They looked at the health records of 2.8 million people over 36 years and found that individuals who sustained a TBI in their 20s were 63 per cent more likely to develop dementia in the next three decades than someone who did not sustain one. Even compared to that group, the TBI group had higher risk for dementia. The risk increases by 24 percent, the researchers write in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, and is relative to the number and severity of brain injuries.

"Severe TBI is particularly frequent in young people, and it is concerning that the risk of dementia is particular high in relatively young persons who suffer TBI", said co-author Jakob Christensen, associate professor of neurology at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

According to the UN's World Health Organization, about 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease - the most common form with about two-thirds of cases.

A link between brain injuries and dementia has been confirmed in a study involving nearly three million people. Among first TBI diagnoses, 85 percent had been characterized as mild and 15 percent had been characterized as severe or skull fracture.

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Between 1999 and 2013, 4.5 per cent of the study population aged 50 and older were diagnosed with dementia.

The findings also show that men with a history of TBI had a slightly higher risk of developing dementia than women. The study also examined the impact of sustaining multiple separate brain injuries and the likelihood of subsequently developing dementia.

The researchers noted that while previous research has suggested a link between TBI, including concussion, and subsequent dementia, earlier studies have been limited in size and details, and have had short follow-up periods.

"There are some cognitive rehabilitation strategies that may decrease the cognitive deficits associated with a brain injury", he said. Each additional brain injury added to the danger. This included "less severe" injuries such as concussion.

Advanced, instant brain-injury detecting test could analyze patient consciousness along with effectively improved patient care by probing in to their central nervous system. It extends from a mild sports concussion - an elbow to the head in a basketball game, for example - that results in very brief or no unconsciousness and no structural harm to the brain, to the most severe brain injuries that can cause extended unconsciousness, coma or even prove fatal. "The attributable risk of traumatic brain injury to different exposures and how these change across time needs policy attention, given it is likely that prevention of these need be considered at societal, community, and local levels".

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