EVEN MILD HEAD BLOWS MAY RAISE DE­MEN­TIA RISK

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Have You Heard? -

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.

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