Traumatic Brain Injuries Seen as Number-One Risk Factor for Dementia

A study published in JAMA Neurology recently suggests that the number-one risk factor for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) – not the existence of amyloid plaques in the brain, once thought to be the defining factor of these diseases.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Seen as Number-One Risk Factor for DementiaThe study followed 61 men and women, ages 65 to 90, who had varying degrees of mental impairment and/or had been diagnosed with dementia. From time to time, the patients were given tests that tracked their memory, organization, and problem-solving skills. Their brains were also scanned using an MRI to check for vascular damage characteristic of TBI and a PET scanner to check for amyloid plaques in the brain.

At the end of the five-year study, researchers examined the data and discovered that patients with vascular damage from a TBI did consistently worse on the memory, organization, and problem-solving tests than patients who had amyloid plaques but no vascular damage. The researchers concluded that traumatic brain injury may play a much larger role in dementia and Alzheimer’s than was previously realized.

If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may struggle with the aftereffects for months or even years. A severe TBI may permanently impair your ability to carry out daily life activities. For a free and confidential consultation about your legal rights after a brain injury, please don’t hesitate to call the skilled Colorado TBI victim attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. Our number is (719) 475-2555, and your initial consultation is free and confidential.