Traumatic Brain Injuries and New Research Related to Dementia
Recent research in Denmark – in the form of a study that was the largest of its kind – found a link between traumatic brain injuries and an increased risk of suffering from dementia in the future. The seriousness of traumatic brain injuries has a wide range (from relatively mild to deadly), but the study finds that even a mild event can increase the victim’s risk of dementia.
This outcome, however, does not mean that anyone who has ever had a TBI is facing a dementia sentence. Instead, the study provides meaningful information that contributes to a growing body of work exploring the interconnection between TBIs and dementia. If someone else’s negligence has left you with a TBI, contact a Central Texas personal injury attorney today.
The Danish Study
The Lancet Psychiatry ran the Danish study, which is based on extensive data mined from nearly 2,800,00 residents of Denmark (within specific parameters, including being at least 50 years old at some point during the study’s 36-year follow up). Slightly more than 132,000 of those included in the study had suffered at least one traumatic brain injury.
Culling Statistical Significance
Once the researchers adjusted for different kinds of illnesses, they found that TBI sufferers were at 24 percent greater risk of developing dementia when compared to individuals who had never sustained a TBI. Those individuals who had experienced five or more TBIs in their lifetimes were a staggering three times more likely to develop dementia. The lead author of the study, Dr. Jesse R. Fann, is careful to emphasize that the overall risk of dementia at 50 is exceedingly low.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A TBI is an injury to the brain that is usually caused by either a blow to the head or by the violent shaking of the head. These injuries are common to traffic accidents and to slip and fall accidents. TBIs, because they affect the brain, are exceedingly unpredictable. In fact, the negative physical, financial, and emotional consequences of a traumatic brain injury are difficult to overstate. Some sufferers liken a TBI's effects to an alteration in one's personal sense of self – a devastating consequence.
To make matters worse, a TBI will often go undetected until it has progressed into something much more serious and more difficult to treat. If you have sustained any degree of impact to your head in an accident, it is in your best interest to seek immediate medical attention.