The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Study Finds that Brain Injuries in Middle Age May Raise Your Risk of Dementia

What causes traumatic brain injuries?

A new study suggests that middle aged adults should take care to protect their heads from trauma.  Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are believed to be the cause of over 2.5 million emergency room visits per year and 282,000 hospitalizations nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Traumatic brain injuries are defined as blows or bumps to the head that cause damage to the brain.  TBIs can have many causes and are often linked to accidents.  Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers discuss the causes of TBIs and the potential implications of a TBI later in life.  

Causes of TBIs

Falls are considered the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the US.  Falls account for over one third of these serious injuries.  Individuals may suffer falls in a work accident, slip and fall accident, or in nursing homes.  Falls from heights are the most likely to cause serious brain injuries.  

Other common causes of traumatic brain injuries include car accidents and sports injuries.  Car accidents inflict a significant amount of force on the driver and passengers inside, leaving the brain susceptible to injury.  Sports like football, soccer, and baseball will all often involve blows to the head, sometimes repeatedly, which can cause significant brain trauma.

TBIs and Dementia

Researchers in Finland sought to further examine the link between brain injuries and dementia.  They studied data of over 40,000 Finnish adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who suffered traumatic brain injuries between 1986 and 2014.  Researchers then uncovered which of the study participants were hospitalized for dementia or related conditions like Parkinson’s disease and ALS.  

The results of the study were astounding.  Data revealed that 3.5 percent of subjects with moderate to severe TBIs went on to develop dementia, compared to just 1.6 percent of individuals with mild TBIs.  Accounting for confounding factors, researchers concluded that those with moderate to severe TBIs were 90 percent more likely to later be diagnosed with dementia.  

This study illustrates that the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be felt long in the future.  Anyone who sustains a TBI due to another’s negligence should consult with an attorney right away to protect your legal rights.


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