EVEN MILD HEAD BLOWS MAY RAISE DEMENTIA RISK
Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found. The study, which tracked more than 350,000 participants, showed that the likelihood of dementia more than doubled following concussion.
These risks were slightly elevated for those in the loss-of-consciousness bracket (2.51) and were nearly four times higher (3.77) for those with the more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. The researchers identiied participants from two databases. The irst group included all-era veterans whose traumatic brain injuries could have occurred during civilian or military life. The second group included veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for whom most of these injuries had occurred in combat zones, such as from shockwaves in blasts. “The indings in both groups were similar, indicating
that concussions occurring in combat areas were as likely to be linked to dementia as those concussions affecting the general population,” said irst author
Deborah Barnes, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.