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Study Reveals Dementia in Working Age Adults Connected to Traumatic Brain Injury

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been associated with an increased risk of dementia in working-age adults, according to a recent study. The same study, which embodied the entire Finnish population, showed no relationship between TBI and later onset of Parkinson's disease or ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Hospital, who conducted the study, believe that these results may be of great benefit in the rehabilitation and long-term monitoring of TBI victims.

Approximately one in three that receive a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury die and half of those that survive suffer a life-long disability. These grim statistics place TBI as a leading cause of death and disability among the young and middle aged.

The researchers studied more than 40,000 working age adults, who survived ten years beyond the initial TBI. The study, which examined the relationship between TBI and degenerative brain disease, combined several nationwide registers. Two areas of importance in the study were the person's level of education and socioeconomic status. 

Rahul Raj, docent of experimental neurosurgery and a primary author of the study explained it this way: "It seems that the risk for developing dementia after TBI is the highest among middle-aged men. The more severe the TBI, the higher the risk for subsequent dementia. While previous studies have identified good education and high socioeconomic status as protective factors against dementia, we did not discover a similar effect among TBI survivors."

Raj continued by pointing out that it is possible that TBI patients may be misdiagnosed with dementia due to the damage caused by the injury, but such possibilities were taken into consideration in the study.

"According to our results, it might be so that the TBI triggers a process that later leads to dementia," Raj said.

Professor Jaako Kaprio, a member of the research group said, "These results are significant for the monitoring of TBI patients. Such a reliable study of the long-term impact of TBI has previously been impossible."

Generally considered a problem of the elderly, dementia may begin to develop from TBI before old age. The study shows that dementia caused by TBI may be more prevalent than previously believed.

It has been predicted by the World Health Organization that TBI will become a leading cause of death and long-term debilitation over the next decade. In the U.S. one percent of the population already suffers from a long-term disability cause by traumatic brain injury.

Speak with an Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

When anyone develops dementia after recovering from a TBI, it is an additional tragedy for both the patient and their loved ones. If you or a loved one suffered from a moderate to severe TBI, the cost over a lifetime could be in the millions of dollars from lost income, medical bills, special needs, rehabilitation and more. It may be possible to recover those costs with the aid of an experienced brain injury attorney. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI, speak with an attorney at Vititoe Law Group today. There is no charge for an evaluation by an experienced brain injury attorney. Do not risk a lifetime of financial hardship. Call 818-991-8900 today.

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