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Traumatic Brain Injury May Heighten Risk of Dementia Later in Life

Brain injuries are a leading cause of disabling injuries and fatal injuries in New York and across the nation. The effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) differ depending on the severity of the injury. Some widely known symptoms associated with TBI are impaired thinking, memory loss, and emotional problems. A recent study published in the medical journal PLoS Medicine suggests that a traumatic brain injury also may increase the victim’s risk of developing dementia later in life.

According to a story on ABC News, researchers at Umeå University in Sweden conducted an extensive study of people who had sustained brain injuries to try to answer this question. They examined 3 million people in Sweden aged 50 years and older who had been diagnosed with TBI or dementia between 1964 and 2012. The researchers compared the subjects to another group who had not had a brain injury. If the individual had a sibling who did not have TBI, they included the sibling in the study as well.

What Were the Results of the Study?

Researchers found that there was a 25 percent increased risk of dementia for individuals that had suffered a TBI up to 30 years earlier. In the first year following a TBI, the link was even stronger.

The study indicated that the severity of the brain injury increased the risk of dementia, as did multiple TBIs over time.

However, the study was purely observational, and while the association between TBI and dementia is strong, there is no scientific proof that a traumatic brain injury directly causes dementia. More scientific research is needed to prove a causal link between dementia and a traumatic head injury and to assess why repeated head injuries may increase the risk of dementia.

How Common Are TBIs and Should I Be Worried About Dementia?

Nationwide, TBI is a leading cause of death and disability. Approximately 2.5 million Americans are treated in emergency rooms and hospitals each year for traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Traumatic brain injuries are a serious public health issue in New York State. More than 500 people a day sustain a brain injury, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Because the future effects of a TBI, including the potential for dementia, are of great concern, it is critical that researchers and scientists continue to study the effects of these devastating injuries to help people prepare for consequences they may encounter over time.

Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

The New Jersey and New York traumatic brain injury lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., are ready to help you. Since 1981, our team of aggressive trial attorneys has worked hard on behalf of our clients to seek the justice they deserve. Our Brain Injury Lawyers have studied for decades, nationally and internationally the causes, effects and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. Our TBI lawyers have represented many brain injury victims and their families and have worked with several neuropsychologists and neurologists who diagnose, treat and heal brain injuries.

If you or someone close to you suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the reckless or negligent actions of another person, you may have a legal right to seek compensation for what happened. The effects of a TBI can be devastating. You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of an accident that was not your fault. Contact us at 1-800-LAW-2000 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.