Brain Injury May Increase the Risk of Early Alzheimer’s

Research out of UT Southwestern has produced medical evidence that suffering a traumatic brain injury can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Patients who had suffered such injuries were autopsied after their deaths, and the data shows a clear correlation between previous traumatic brain injury and then developing Alzheimer’s later in life. Medical professionals studying Alzheimer’s have long speculated there may be a link between the two, but this study is the first to offer real hard data that conclusively proves it. Previous discussions and investigations ended only in speculation, lacking any actual diagnostic data that could be used to prove the connection.

While this news is one more piece of encouraging data for doctors and other medical researchers looking to get a handle on Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s only a first step down this possible avenue of investigation. The reason why traumatic brain injury increases Alzheimer’s risk is still not yet known; only that it does. But understanding why suffering a TBI does boost cognitive disorder risk might open up new doors in the search for a treatment or cure.

What this new information can do is help people better manage their risk if they’re concerned about dementia and other cognitive issues. If you’re worried about Alzheimer’s, try to avoid rough sports that are likely to leave you mentally rattled.

Key Points:

  • 1Injury to the brain can cause younger people to be more at risk for Alzheimer’s.
  • 2This finding is only a correlation and needs to be studied more.
  • 3These types of injuries are common among athletes who suffer concussions.

Researchers still need to learn what it is about TBI that contributes to Alzheimer’s and what other factors and triggers could be involved.

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