Researchers from the University of Washington school in Seattle have found that individuals who suffer a blow to head in the early 20’s have 63% risk of developing dementia at later age. These researchers found that younger the age, when he sustains head injury greater will be the chances of developing Dementia. This was found when they are carrying a study to find the link between Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the cognitive decrease in the later age. Dementia is a loss of memory and decline in mental abilities of an individual that interfere with regular activities in daily life. Alzheimer’s is the major disease and accounts for almost 60-80% of the Dementia cases.
Earlier studies were unsuccessful to prove the correlation between head injuries and Dementia and the current study offered a strong evidence in the matter. Concussion has been classified as a mild TBI. These days we have been witnessing the growing cases of concussion particularly in the field of sports like rugby, cricket, etc. Apart from it the major causes of concussion were due to accidents, falls, and other assaults. It is estimated that Dementia affects about 47 million people every year and it is expected to double in the next 20 years.
Summary of the Study:
The team looked at the health records of over 2.8 million people over a period of 36 years making it a novel study considering the huge volume. Of the total participants, 5.3% of them with dementia had TBI compared to 4,7% without the TBI. The study revealed that the risk of dementia lowered if the head injuries are experienced in 30’s. These people had only 37% of developing dementia in later stages, compared to 63% risk of dementia in people who sustained head injuries in the early 20’s. Also, the number of blows to the head is also in direct proportion to the risk of dementia in the later stages of life. A single blow leads to 22% risk of developing dementia after the age of 50 and it was 33% for two blows and risk further amplified to 200% if it was five blows or higher. Apart from that, the team also studied the impact of multiple brain injuries on the likelihood of developing Dementia.
The researchers also found that men with the history of TBI are at higher risk of developing dementia compared to women. Future studies would involve studying the impact of different injuries and their effects on the brain.