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Research Confirms Link Between TBI’s and Dementia

By Burg Simpson
May 23, 2018
3 min read

There has been research in the past to suggest that even mild traumatic brain injuries can increase someone’s risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease, but a new study – published earlier this month – reinforces these findings.

The study, “Association of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury With and Without Loss of Consciousness With Dementia in U.S. Military Veterans,” appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of American Medicine and surveyed more than 350,000 military veterans – half of whom reported brain injuries. The research found that “mild traumatic brain injury without loss of consciousness was associated with more than a two-fold increase in the risk of dementia diagnosis, even after adjusting for medical and psychiatric comorbidities.”

Confirming what many researchers suspected, this fresh data suggests even mild traumatic brain injuries – even those without loss of consciousness – could have long-term consequences.

TBIs Can Have Lasting Effects

According to this latest study, after “Over an average of four years of follow-up, 6 percent of veterans with at least one traumatic brain injury (TBI) developed dementia, as did 2.6 percent of veterans without TBI. Dementia risk climbed steadily with increasing TBI severity. Those who had experienced a mild TBI without loss of consciousness ran 2.36 times the risk of controls; for mild TBI with loss of consciousness, it was 2.51; and for moderate to severe TBI, 3.77.”

The study also showed that veterans who suffered TBIs were diagnosed with dementia 1.5 to 1.8 years earlier than those who were not similarly injured.

Damages Extend Beyond Dementia

An earlier study showed that veterans who suffered mild TBIs also had an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. The study, published in a recent issue of Neurology, showed “even mild TBIs — characterized by loss of consciousness for 30 minutes or less — can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 56 percent.”

This research, which sifted through Veteran’s Administration data, found “those with moderate to severe TBI have an 83 percent increased risk of Parkinson’s disease; those with mild TBI have a 56 percent risk.”

All of this research follows an earlier Denmark study of roughly 2.8 million people that found a 24 percent higher risk of dementia individuals after even a single mild brain injury. Additionally, the study showed the risk of dementia increased 33 percent higher for two or three TBIs, and jumped 61 percent higher for four TBIs, and 183 percent higher for five or more TBIs. This research also found a higher risk of Alzheimer’s in TBI patients.

It is hard to argue with so many independent studies. If you suffered a TBI because of someone’s negligence, no matter how minor the injury appears to be, you could be a greater risk for further neurological disorders. Get help right away by reaching out to a personal injury lawyer at Burg Simpson as soon as possible. Call Burg Simpson Colorado at 303-792-5595 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation Form today.

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