Study finds traumatic brain injuries increase risk of dementia

Traumatic brain injury patients in Pennsylvania and around the world may have an increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study. The study was conducted by researchers from Umeå University in Sweden.

Researchers identified 3 million Swedish patients who received a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury or dementia between the years of 1964 and 2012. They then compared the medical records of TBI patients with people who had never suffered a TBI. They found that over time TBI patients were 25 percent more likely to suffer from dementia. The risk of a patient developing dementia was strongest in the first year after a TBI, but the disorder struck some people more than 30 years after their injury. Severe or multiple TBIs also increased a patient’s risk of developing dementia.

When they could, researchers also compared TBI patients to a sibling who had not suffered a TBI. An analysis of 46,970 sibling pairs showed that factors such as genetics, education and upbringing did not impact the connection between TBI and dementia.

Every year, there are millions of Americans who suffer traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can cause a lifetime of serious health issues, including memory problems, depression, personality changes and dementia. If a TBI is the result of negligence, such as a car accident or a fall, the injured victim may wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the party who harmed them. If the suit is successful, the victim could be awarded compensation for current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other related damages. A TBI victim could have their case reviewed by an attorney familiar with personal injury claims.