Mild Brain Injuries Tied to Increased Dementia Risk

Mild Brain Injuries Tied to Increased Dementia Risk

A new study is proving out a link between even non-severe traumatic brain injury, or TBI, doubles a person’s risk for later developing dementia. Damage to the brain, even temporary, has long been known to put patients at risk for cognitive disorders. But until recently, it was thought there might be some forms of cerebral trauma that did not carry over into a long term effect.

Researchers with access to military veterans looked at over a third of a million service members; half who had experienced a brain injury, and half who had not so they could be used as a control group. The data showed that six percent of the TBI patients developed dementia. Fewer than three percent of the non TBI service members has a similar diagnosis. Whether or not the injury they suffered involved a loss of consciousness didn’t seem to have a particularly large effect, which flies in the face of previous medical thinking.

The study was conducted using the medical records of the military personnel, because the military represents a large pool of people with detailed records about any injuries and treatments or diagnosis they might be receiving. People with an active job, like soldiers, are also more likely to experience TBI.

The conclusions are there might not be any kind of brain injury that doesn’t carry lasting effects.

Key Points:

  • 1Research shows that having a mild brain injury increases chance of dementia.
  • 2There was no research on how or why brain injuries caused an increase dementia risk.
  • 3The research was conducted in a group of Veterans, 90% of who where male.


There is unfortunately no way to minimize dementia risk after a traumatic brain injury
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