Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious a person can suffer. Not only does a brain injury have immediate affects including cognitive impairment in many cases, but the injury can also cause serious health problems down the road.
Victims who suffer a brain injury as a result of negligence or wrongdoing should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for help making a claim for compensation. It is essential to understand the full extent of your losses before settling or when filing a brain injury lawsuit.
The Link Between Brain Injuries and Dementia
The Alzheimer's Association indicates that there is a potential link between a traumatic brain injury and an increased risk of dementia. The website also warns that a brain injury can have lasting direct and indirect health consequences.
Unfortunately, new studies add to the growing body of research suggesting that being struck in the head can lead to dementia later in life. The study was published in Health Day.
Researchers looked at a group of 190,000 veterans with an average age of 68. At the time the group was selected, none were suffering from dementia. A total of 1,229 of the veterans in the group had been diagnosed with a brain injury.
The researchers tracked the health of the veterans in the study group over the next nine years. They found that an estimated 10 percent of the veterans who had not been diagnosed with a head injury developed dementia. By contrast, among the veterans with a brain injury, 16 percent developed dementia. This was a significant increase in the number of dementia cases.
Unfortunately, veterans with a brain injury also appeared to develop dementia sooner than those who had not had a diagnosed TBI. For veterans with no brain injury diagnosis, they developed dementia at an average age of 81. For those who had been diagnoses with a TBI, they developed dementia at an average age of 78.5.
Based on this data, the researchers indicated that: "Our results suggest that [brain injury] may increase the risk of developing dementia in older veterans, with an age of onset about two years earlier." Health Day stressed that while a link was clear, causation has not yet been proven.
The risk of dementia was also higher among veterans who had a traumatic brain injury as well as another health problem such as cerebrovascular disease, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
There are a number of possible theories on why traumatic brain injury may lead to a greater chance of dementia. One possibility is that when the brain sustains a blow, or multiple blows, it becomes less able to recover to normal. Another possibility is that a head injury can lead to a build-up of amyloid or tau proteins in the brain. Both of these proteins have been found to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Regardless of the reason, the research has made clear time and again that a person who suffers a traumatic brain injury may also face a greater chance of dementia in his future.
A Detroit accident lawyer can help victims. Contact Fraser & Souweidane P.C. at (866) 465-9095 or visit https://www.fsattorneys.com to schedule a free consultation.