The dangers associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been well established for years. As the rate of TBI has increased and become a leading cause of death and injury in the country, researchers are trying to better understand the long-term effects of TBI on the body and brain of the affected individual. The normal operation of the brain is disrupted when a TBI occurs. Research has demonstrated that TBI could lead to memory loss, emotional dysfunction, and impaired thinking. Now research indicates that those who have suffered from TBI are at a higher risk of other chronic brain disorders as well.
Dementia is a long-term condition with a progressive decline in cognitive skills. A study from the University of Sweden showed that there is a marked surge in dementia rates after a brain injury. The study examined 3 million Swedes who were 50 years or older and diagnosed with TBI or dementia between 1964 and 2012. The study concluded that there is a 25 percent increased risk of dementia after TBI. The study noted that the connection was even more pronounced in the year immediately following the brain injury. In addition, dementia risks also rose commensurate with the severity of the trauma to the head.
In another study by Finnish researchers, a link between moderate to severe TBI and dementia was detected. No such link was found with Parkinson’s disease or ALS. Even more significantly, the study showed that the rate of dementia in patients with moderate or severe TBI was about the same as found on the general population. This is significant because dementia is typically a disease that occurs later in life. This suggests that the risk of dementia shifts from older people to younger or middle age subjects in those diagnosed with TBI.
But the correlation shown between TBI and dementia does not prove that TBI actually causes dementia. More research is necessary to determine whether there is actually a cause and effect relationship. Still, the takeaway from the study is clear: multiple blows to the head can lead to significant damage to the brain and permanent neurological changes. Many of the long-term effects are still unknown.
If you or a member of your family was injured and suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact Alexander Law Group, LLC. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will be sure you get the maximum compensation possible. Call 888.777.1776, or contact us online.