Medicine

TBI Associated With Increased Risk of Subsequent Dementia

TBI Associated With Increased Risk of Subsequent Dementia

"Individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury, including those with less severe injuries have an increased risk of developing dementia, even decades after the injury", says Jesse Fann, Professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle, USA, who led the study.

Traumatic brain injury caused by an accident or a blow to the head increases the risk of dementia according to a recently published study.

The overall risk of dementia in individuals with a history of TBI was 24 per cent higher than those without a history of TBI, after accounting for other risk factors for the disease.

The study found that the risk of dementia increased 33 per cent higher for two or three TBIs, 61 per cent higher for four TBIs, and 183 per cent higher for five or more TBIs.

A single, mild brain injury increased future dementia risk by 17 percent, Fann said.

The researchers identified a cumulative effect, with dementia risk rising with repeated episodes of brain injury.

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For each of three survival analyses that the researchers used to determine the long-term risk of dementia after TBI, three prespecified models were used: different time periods since the TBI, multiple TBIs and sex.

"While there is growing interest in the question of whether collisions in sports like rugby or football might affect dementia risk, this study only looked at head injuries that required hospital treatment and doesn't tell us anything about the impacts you'd normally expect to see on the sports field". It found that people with a TBI in their 20s were about 63 per cent more likely to develop dementia 30 years later than people who didn't get a TBI in their 20s.

To address these methodological issues, Danish and American researchers identified a population-based cohort of almost 2.8 million adults to examine the long-term risk of dementia in people with a history of TBI compared to those without TBI and those with non-TBI physical trauma (fracture not involving head or spine).

"Shedding light on risk factors for dementia is one of the most important tasks in health research". From 1999 to 2013, 4.5 percent of the patients over age 50 years developed dementia, of those, 5.3 percent had sustained at least one TBI during the observation period, which began in 1977.

Researchers analyzed 36 years of health records of 2.8 million people in Denmark, where a national health system makes it possible to explore connections in a far-reaching way.

In the first TBI diagnoses, 85 per cent had been characterised as mild and 15 per cent had been characterised as severe or skull fracture. As a outcome of those injuries, the CDC said 230,000 people are hospitalized and survive, 50,000 die and 80,000 to 90,000 experience the onset of long-term disability.


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