Traumatic Brain Injuries Increase Alzheimer’s Disease Risk, Study Says
The recent research, published in Neuropsychology, sought to determine whether traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness was a risk factor developing Alzheimer’s disease earlier in life. Researchers at UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute evaluated over 2,133 study participants, using their autopsies to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
The results were striking: people who sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness for over 5 minutes were diagnosed with dementia over 2 years earlier on average, when compared with those who had not suffered brain injuries. Specifically, the average age of Alzheimer’s onset was 2.34 years earlier and the average diagnosis with dementia was 2.83 years earlier in the people who suffered traumatic brain injury.
Ultimately, investigators found that TBI with loss of consciousness is, indeed, a significant risk factor for earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This study represents yet another confirmation of the potential negative effects of traumatic brain injury. For example, an earlier study confirmed higher rates of depression and anxiety in people who sustain concussions and other brain injuries as children.
What researchers have yet to determine is the way in which TBI contributes to the development of dementia. What they do know is that inflammation in the brain occurs after a traumatic brain injury, which may pave the way for certain neurological issues later in life.
What Causes Brain Injury?
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 people suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year in America. As a result, 275,000 people are hospitalized and 52,000 TBI sufferers die each year. These brain injuries have a variety of potential causes, the most common of which are falls. The category of “falls” encompasses slip-and-fall incidents, falls from heights, construction accidents, and more. Some of the other common causes of traumatic brain injury include: motor vehicle accidents, struck by or against incidents, defective products, and sports and recreation accidents.
Another potential contributor to brain injury is medical malpractice. In fact, children and adults suffer TBI due to medical errors frequently in New Jersey and throughout the United States. For instance, infants can sustain hypoxic brain injury and permanent brain damage if medical negligence leads to lack of oxygen during labor and delivery. Similarly, errors when resuscitating newborns can result in catastrophic brain injury and permanent conditions like Cerebral Palsy.
Among adults, medical mistakes in surgery or failure to diagnose certain conditions such as strokes can lead to TBI. Women who are inappropriately managed during pregnancy or childbirth can also experience traumatic brain injury. Improper prescribing or administering medication, as well as intubation errors, are a few more examples of negligent medical practices that may lead to brain injuries.
Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in New Jersey?
If you or a loved one experienced a concussion or other TBI in New Jersey and you suspect another party played a role, the experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group can help. Our highly skilled team of lawyers is dedicated to obtaining the compensation you deserve. For instance, we recently obtained $14,500,000 on behalf of a 12-year-old boy who suffered a brain injury caused by a defective baseball bat.
Contact us at 973-435-4551 or fill out our online form to discuss your case with a TBI lawyer who understands the legal and personal components of brain injury matters. We provide free consultations and are available anytime to assist you.
You can also read more about the brain injury-dementia connection in Science Daily.