bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2018: N O S A J J M A M F J
2017: D N

 
  Other news for:
Brain
Wounds and Injuries
Wounds and Injuries
 Resources from HONselect
Even Mild Concussion Tied to Greater Dementia Risk Later

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Concussions, even those that are mild, more than double the risk for developing dementia down the road, new research suggests.

The findings stem from an analysis that tracked concussions and dementia risk among nearly 360,000 military veterans.

Study author Deborah Barnes noted that many of the younger vets in the study had experienced concussions while in combat, often in Iraq and Afghanistan. Head blows among older vets were often due to falls or car accidents.

"Results were similar in the two groups," she said, "so we don't think there is anything special about these head injuries." That makes it more likely that the dementia risk seen among military personnel would also apply to the general population.

Barnes is a professor in the departments of psychiatry and epidemiology & biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco's Weill Institute for Neurosciences. She is also a research health sciences specialist with the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Roughly 179,000 of the study participants had been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2001 and 2014. Just over half the group (54 percent) had specifically experienced a concussion.

Over an average tracking period of roughly four years, dementia risk among the TBI group was stacked up against that of an equal number of vets who had not experienced a TBI. On average, participants were nearly 50 years of age at the study's launch. About 9 percent were women, and nearly three-quarters were white.

In the end, the team found that less than 3 percent of the non-TBI group went on to develop dementia, compared with just over 6 percent of the TBI group.

Digging deeper, the investigators found that those who had never lost consciousness at the time of their head injury still faced a 2.4 times greater long-term risk for dementia. That figure rose to 2.5 among those who had lost consciousness. And among those who had experienced a moderate-to-severe TBI injury, dementia risk rose nearly fourfold.

"However, it is important to remember that not everyone who experiences a head injury will develop dementia," Barnes stressed. Although risk was significantly higher among TBI patients, the absolute risk still remained relatively low, she said.

Additionally, the study did not prove that head injuries caused dementia and "head injury is [just] one of many risk factors for dementia," Barnes noted.

"Even if you have had a concussion, you might be able to reduce your risk through other activities, such as engaging in physical, mental and social activity, and eating a brain-healthy diet," she suggested.

The report was published online May 7 in JAMA Neurology.

Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia is director of the traumatic brain injury clinical research initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He said the findings confirm previous suspicions "with a greater degree of certainty than was previously possible."

Even mild traumatic brain injuries "are not always trivial," he noted. "The evolving literature certainly suggests otherwise. And the mechanical energy impact on the head and the brain is the same whether it comes from a car accident or fall, or potentially a blast injury incurred in combat," so the findings would apply to the military and the public alike.

"Head injuries are also very common in the general civilian population," added Diaz-Arrastia, who co-authored an accompanying editorial. "Something like 25 to 30 percent of the general population has had a concussion at some point in their life, although that number goes even higher among military personnel."

As for how best to handle a head injury when it occurs, he advised taking quick precautionary action.

"I think someone who has experienced a blow to the head to the point where they either lose consciousness or experience confusion, amnesia, disorientation or headache, or anything like that, should of course go to an emergency room," said Diaz-Arrastia.

"Most of the time, nothing will need to be done. But a small fraction of the time even a seemingly mild injury can evolve into a bigger deal," he advised.

More information

There's more on traumatic brain injury at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Deborah Barnes, Ph.D., MPH, professor, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, departments of psychiatry and epidemiology & biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, and research health sciences specialist, San Francisco VA Medical Center; Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., Ph.D., professor, neurology, and director, traumatic brain injury clinical research initiative, department of neurology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia; May 7, 2018, JAMA Neurology, online

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=733682

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Wounds and Injuries
Dementia
Risk
Brain Injuries
Head
Craniocerebral Trauma
Brain
Brain Concussion
Military Personnel
Consciousness
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact