Concussion in Young People Increases Risk of Dementia

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Researchers reveal that concussion in young people increases risk of dementia, according to a report published on April 11, 2018.

Investigations regarding link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cognitive decline in later life is finally concluded by Danish and US researchers. They found that the younger a person was while getting a head injury, higher is the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The health records of 2.8 million people were observed by the researchers for over 36 years. After the analysis, they observed that individuals who suffered from TBI while they were young were 63 per cent more likely to develop dementia in the next three decades, as compared to people who did not suffer from any brain injuries.

However, the risk for the same time period was 37 per cent in people who suffered from head injuries in their thirties. A blow to the head, which interrupts the normal functioning of the brain leads to TBI. It is caused by falls, motor vehicle accidents, and assaults. Concussion is considered as a mild TBI. Even a single incidence of concussion was found to increase risk of dementia in that individual.

Jesse Fann, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences said, “Our analysis raises some very important issues, in particular that efforts to prevent traumatic brain injury, especially in younger people, may be inadequate considering the huge and growing burden of dementia and the prevalence of TBI worldwide.” Every year, over 50 million people experience a TBI. 5.3 per cent of the participants with dementia were found with a history of TBI, as compared to 4.7 per cent of those without the condition. In the study, they further analyzed the impact of suffering from multiple separate brain injuries and the probability of subsequently developing dementia.

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