Mild brain injuries also increase the risk of dementia
You don’t being a professional football player to get a strong head start. According to an estimate by medical researchers, More than 27 million people they have a traumatic brain injury all over the world every year. They are some car accidents, are others it falls, or taking the header on the football field. But there is growing evidence that even mild blows to the head can cause long-term damage and increase the risk of neurological disease.
The brain is soft and our skulls usually squirm with cerebrospinal fluid. But when something hits us hard enough in the head, our brains get choked and can break into that hard bone, creating inflammation or bleeding. This can lead to symptoms such as short-term memory loss or shock. (Not all excitement makes people blacken or feel nauseous or dizzy).
A new study was published in the journal this month Alzheimer’s and Dementia it comes from a large data set that tracks Americans who have counted health outcomes over the past 25 years. The authors believe that head injuries, although mild, are associated with an increased risk of dementia in the long term. The study also found that the more people with head injuries suffer the higher the risk of developing dementia.
Dementia is a general term for memory and cognitive loss caused by brain changes. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive and irreversible disorder in which protein nodes disrupt how neurons communicate with each other. But there are other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia, when there is insufficient blood supply to the brain, and frontotemporal dementia, caused by loss of cells in the anterior and lateral regions of the brain. it can change personality and behavior tremendously.
Researchers hope that this new information will raise awareness about the consequences of head injuries and the importance of preventing them. “That’s one of the most important messages to take home in this research, because it’s something that can be prevented to some extent by head injuries,” says Andrea Schneider, a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the article. “You can do practical things like wear a bicycle helmet or wear a seat belt.”
Previous studies have shown a similar relationship between head injuries and dementia, but are targeted at specialized populations like most military veterans. Schneider says this study is one of the first to examine the relationship in the general population of the community, which may be more representative of the average person.
Schneider and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from more than 14,000 participants in the Atherosclerosis in Communities study, a continuous effort that has been followed by people aged 45 to 65 in Minnesota, Maryland, North Carolina and Mississippi since 1987. the research was intended to monitor the environment and genetic conditions that can lead to heart disease, but the researchers also collected medical records and asked participants to report any head injuries.
When researchers at the University of Pennsylvania looked at data on traumatic brain injuries, they found that people with a head injury were 25 percent more likely to develop dementia. This risk was doubled for those with two or more head injuries.
There are other health factors that may be involved. Genetics do some people increased tendency to dementia; some forms are hereditary or along with other progressive disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Other risks include vascular problems diabetes and high blood pressure, environmental impacts such as pollution, and lifestyle choices like smoking. Schneider says head injury is an important factor. “In our study we could say that about 9.5% of all dementia cases were attributed to head injury,” he says.