Possible TBI risk factors in older adults

Researchers concerned about the high incidence of traumatic brain injury in older adults conducted a study to learn what risk factors might be associated with an increased likelihood of a TBI. Pennsylvania residents might be interested in the results that appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

There were 4,004 participants over the age of 65 in the study. None had ever sustained a TBI before, and none had dementia. Researchers saw them periodically for several years and assessed their depression symptoms, general health, ability to perform daily tasks, cognitive skills, alcohol use and physical activity and performance. They also asked whether they had sustained an injury that had rendered them unconscious.

Researchers identified several factors in participants who were at a higher risk for sustaining a TBI. More than one chronic disease, vascular health conditions, depression and difficulty with daily tasks were all linked to TBIs. People were also more likely to die after sustaining a TBI if they previously struggled with daily tasks or had a vascular condition. Markers for Alzheimer’s, a sedentary lifestyle, lower cognitive function and alcohol problems did not appear to have any causal link, however.

A TBI may happen due to an automobile accident or in a fall. Those accidents might be the fault of another party. For example, if a person falls on a rickety flight of steps at a place of business, the owner may be liable. Even if the damage is not permanent, the recovery process can be slow and the person may need long-term care and extensive rehabilitation. When the settlement offered by the owner’s insurance company is inadequate, the injured victim may want to have legal assistance in seeking appropriate compensation.