328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville, Alabama 36460
(251) 575-4203
Alzheimers Disease and other Cognitive Disorders
Basic Information
Introduction & Causes of Cognitive DisordersDementiaAlzheimer's DiseaseOther Cognitive DisordersDementia Coping Skills & Behavior ManagementTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Conclusion and Resources
More InformationLatest News
Rate of U.S. Deaths Tied to Dementia Has More Than DoubledEven Distant Relatives' History Could Up Your Alzheimer's RiskDementia May Strike Differently, Depending on RaceHormone Therapy Linked to Slight Rise in Alzheimer's RiskSleep Apnea May Be Linked With Alzheimer's MarkerScientists Find 5 New Genes That Sway Alzheimer's RiskAre Hearing Loss, Mental Decline Related?Education No Match Against Alzheimer'sCould Gut Bacteria Be Linked to Dementia Risk?Plunging Temperatures a Threat to People With Alzheimer'sBlood Test Might Yield Early Warning of Alzheimer'sFrailty a Risk Factor for DementiaAHA: Blood Pressure May Explain Higher Dementia Risk in BlacksSleep Patterns May Offer Clues to Alzheimer'sDoes Alzheimer's Unfold Differently in Black Patients?Health Tip: Caring for a Person With Alzheimer'sAlzheimer's Vaccine Shows Promise in MiceKey Strategies When Caring for a Loved One With DementiaAHA: What's the Blood Pressure Connection to Alzheimer's Disease?Could Diabetes Drugs Help Curb Alzheimer's?Hard Arteries Hard on the Aging Brain?Widely Used Antipsychotics May Not Ease Delirium in ICUMap of Mouse Hippocampus Could Be Weapon Against Alzheimer'sHealth Tip: 10 Signs of Alzheimer'sA-Fib Tied to Higher Odds for DementiaAlzheimer's Gene Tied to 'Chemo Brain' in Breast Cancer SurvivorsWhat's the Dollar Cost of Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer's?AHA: Stiffening of Blood Vessels May Point to Dementia RiskU.S. Alzheimer's Cases to Nearly Triple by 2060Daytime Drowsiness a Sign of Alzheimer's?Exercise May Boost Brain Power in Alzheimer's, Mouse Study SuggestsSeverity of Alzheimer's Can Vary by SeasonHealth Tip: Help Kids Understand Alzheimer'sEyes Could Be Window to Predicting Alzheimer'sDialysis Linked to Dementia in SeniorsWhen Head Injuries Make Life Too Hard, Suicide Risk May RiseMore Alzheimer's Gene Links FoundEye Disease Link to Alzheimer's SeenAlzheimer's Drug Trial Offers New Hope, But Uncertainty, TooGet Dizzy Upon Standing? It Could Be Sign of Dementia RiskVirtual Reality as a Window Into DementiaThe Right Lighting Can Calm Alzheimer's PatientsCould Pot-Linked Drug Help Ease Agitation in Alzheimer's?Many Americans With Dementia Don't Know They Have It: StudyHaving More Kids Tied to Lower Odds of Alzheimer's in WomenWhy Alzheimer's May Be Tougher to Spot in WomenHow Common Is Dementia Among LGBT Seniors?Life Is Short After Dementia Diagnosis, No Matter Your AgeHealth Tip: What's the Difference Between Delirium and Dementia?Obesity Adds to Burden of Traumatic Brain Injury
Related Topics

Aging & Geriatrics
Memory Problems
Elder Care

Even Mild Concussion Tied to Greater Dementia Risk Later

HealthDay News
by By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 7th 2018

new article illustration

MONDAY, May 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Concussions, even those that are mild, more than double the risk for developing dementia down the road, new research suggests.

The findings stem from an analysis that tracked concussions and dementia risk among nearly 360,000 military veterans.

Study author Deborah Barnes noted that many of the younger vets in the study had experienced concussions while in combat, often in Iraq and Afghanistan. Head blows among older vets were often due to falls or car accidents.

"Results were similar in the two groups," she said, "so we don't think there is anything special about these head injuries." That makes it more likely that the dementia risk seen among military personnel would also apply to the general population.

Barnes is a professor in the departments of psychiatry and epidemiology & biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco's Weill Institute for Neurosciences. She is also a research health sciences specialist with the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Roughly 179,000 of the study participants had been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2001 and 2014. Just over half the group (54 percent) had specifically experienced a concussion.

Over an average tracking period of roughly four years, dementia risk among the TBI group was stacked up against that of an equal number of vets who had not experienced a TBI. On average, participants were nearly 50 years of age at the study's launch. About 9 percent were women, and nearly three-quarters were white.

In the end, the team found that less than 3 percent of the non-TBI group went on to develop dementia, compared with just over 6 percent of the TBI group.

Digging deeper, the investigators found that those who had never lost consciousness at the time of their head injury still faced a 2.4 times greater long-term risk for dementia. That figure rose to 2.5 among those who had lost consciousness. And among those who had experienced a moderate-to-severe TBI injury, dementia risk rose nearly fourfold.

"However, it is important to remember that not everyone who experiences a head injury will develop dementia," Barnes stressed. Although risk was significantly higher among TBI patients, the absolute risk still remained relatively low, she said.

Additionally, the study did not prove that head injuries caused dementia and "head injury is [just] one of many risk factors for dementia," Barnes noted.

"Even if you have had a concussion, you might be able to reduce your risk through other activities, such as engaging in physical, mental and social activity, and eating a brain-healthy diet," she suggested.

The report was published online May 7 in JAMA Neurology.

Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia is director of the traumatic brain injury clinical research initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He said the findings confirm previous suspicions "with a greater degree of certainty than was previously possible."

Even mild traumatic brain injuries "are not always trivial," he noted. "The evolving literature certainly suggests otherwise. And the mechanical energy impact on the head and the brain is the same whether it comes from a car accident or fall, or potentially a blast injury incurred in combat," so the findings would apply to the military and the public alike.

"Head injuries are also very common in the general civilian population," added Diaz-Arrastia, who co-authored an accompanying editorial. "Something like 25 to 30 percent of the general population has had a concussion at some point in their life, although that number goes even higher among military personnel."

As for how best to handle a head injury when it occurs, he advised taking quick precautionary action.

"I think someone who has experienced a blow to the head to the point where they either lose consciousness or experience confusion, amnesia, disorientation or headache, or anything like that, should of course go to an emergency room," said Diaz-Arrastia.

"Most of the time, nothing will need to be done. But a small fraction of the time even a seemingly mild injury can evolve into a bigger deal," he advised.

More information

There's more on traumatic brain injury at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203

powered by centersite dot net