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Traumatic brain injuries thought to lead to dementia over time

At least 2.5 million patients were seen in emergency rooms in the United States during 2013 for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Many of these were left with either permanent injuries or died. The amount of children there were seen for suspected TBIs resulting from either recreation or sports-related injuries doubled between 2001 and 2012.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, an article published by Swedish researchers in the PLos Medicine journal confirmed what's already been long suspected. TBIs impact cognitive abilities, emotions and memory. New insight that came out of their research, though, points to TBIs as having a direct impact on a patient's risk of developing dementia later on down the road.

In order to reach this conclusion, researchers from Sweden's Umea University combed through some 3 million medical records collected during 1964 and 2012 for patients age 50 and over. They exclusively looked at the records of those who had either previously received a dementia or TBI diagnosis. Whenever possible, they compared these same records to those of siblings that had never suffered TBIs.

The lead researcher on the study says that there wasn't any evidence of a direct link between TBIs and dementia that was uncovered. What was discovered and merits more research, however, was data collected about clients right after their TBI and then 30 years later. Data showed a 25 percent higher incidence rate of dementia in patients who'd previously been diagnosed as having a TBI.

In light of the fact that researchers adjusted for genetics, upbringing and education, they're quite confident in their belief that TBIs may contribute to a patient later developing dementia. These researchers' peers aren't surprised by the data. They've long known that TBIs are one of the primary causes of patients' permanent disabilities or deaths.

If you've suffered a TBI whether as a result of being involved in a car crash, an accident at work or on a sport's field, then a Charleston, West Virginia, attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: ABC News, "Traumatic brain injury linked to increased dementia risk: Report," Christy Duan, M.D., Jan. 31, 2018

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