The recent study, led by the Washington School of Medicine, reviewed almost 3 million cases in Denmark across almost four decades, making it the largest study of its kind to date. The researchers found that the risk of developing dementia was 24% higher in people who had sustained a TBI as compared to those who had no history of TBI.
The risk of dementia was found to be related to the person’s age, severity of the injury, and number of injuries sustained. Those with severe injuries, or multiple injuries, were found to be at higher risk of dementia than those with minor or single injuries. However, even a single mild TBI was found to increase the risk of dementia by 17%.
While the recent results give further evidence of a link between TBI and dementia, the researchers emphasise that not everyone who sustains a TBI will develop dementia later on in life.
Luke Griggs, Director of Communications at Headway – the brain injury association, said: “We have known for some time that there is a link between traumatic brain injury and a susceptibility to dementia or other degenerative neurological conditions, particularly as a result of repeated blows to the head.
“This important piece of research further strengthens this body of evidence.
“It is correct however, to reinforce the message that not everyone who sustains a traumatic brain injury will go on to develop dementia later on in life.
“Any research that helps us better understand the complex and varied implications of brain injury have to be welcomed.”
- Access the full article in The Lancet
- Reference: Fann, J.R., Ribe, A.R., Pedersen, H.S., Fenger-Grøn, M., Christensen, J., Benros, M.E., & Vestergaard, M. (2018). Long-term risk of dementia among people with traumatic brain injury in Denmark: a population-based observational cohort study. The Lancet Psychiatry