Can Head Trauma Accelerate Dementia?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external jolt or a blow in the head which damages the brain cells. It is an acquired form of brain injury that suddenly affects the functioning of the brain. When the head hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue, it causes trauma to the brain. A person might have a trauma attack in the brain and still remain conscious, and studies proved that mere unconsciousness does not necessarily mean the trauma is severe.

Most head injuries are minor or healable, but other head injuries are frequent causes of disability and mortality in both adults and children. TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. In a mild TBI (where a patient may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes), symptoms like headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking may be seen. Whereas in a moderate or severe TBI, these same symptoms may be present, recurrent headache, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation are frequently seen.

How Can Head Trauma Impact Cognitive and Psychological Health?

The risk to cognitive health posed by traumatic brain injury, which is caused by blows to the head and interferes with normal brain function, can be broken down into two categories direct repercussions and prolonged repercussions. Cognitive changes fall under the direct repercussions, and these changes can be examined with visible symptoms like memory loss, difficulty with- communicating or finding words, visual and spatial abilities (such as getting lost while driving), reasoning or problem-solving, handling complex tasks, planning and organizing, coordination and motor functions, confusion and disorientation. Other symptoms of psychological changes might be seen, such as personality changes, paranoia, agitation, and hallucinations. Amongst the prolonged repercussions are the accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain, forming plaques between brain cells and disrupting their functions, therefore resulting in Alzheimer’s disease. Other prolonged repercussion symptoms may be paralysis, depression, balancing problems, etc.

What is the Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Dementia?

TBI can leave life-long effects, and one of the most feared effects of a TBI is dementia, according to medical studies. TBI in early to midlife is associated with an increased risk of dementia in late life, in the range of 2- to 4-fold compared with the general population. While it is still incumbent on medical studies to find out if and how multiple TBIs and moderate or severe TBIs can affect a patient with or without previous dementia, a number of case studies have indicated positive answers. Thus, the categorization of TBI itself is a determinant factor to the question rather than the mere existence of the TBI.

Having a History of TBI May Roughly Accelerate Dementia

Although research indicates a proximate connection between moderate and severe TBI and dementia, it is still limitedly evidenced if there is any between mild TBI and dementia. However, if someone has had multiple mild TBIs, it is feasible to result in late-life dementia. Acute, early symptoms of dementia include staggering and disequilibrium, in addition to mental confusion and signs of slowed muscular movement. In prolonged dementias, patients start developing clinical signs and symptoms reminiscent of parkinsonism- such as tremors, unsteadiness of gait, masked faces, and mental deterioration. Clinical studies squarely evidence a link between the history of TBI with the acceleration of dementia if the TBI level can be assessed, not otherwise. Thus, it is not conclusive- yet a subject to further studies whether TBI in general causes or accelerates dementia or hikes into Alzheimer’s disease.

Further Conclusive Research Is Inevitable To Connect TBI and Dementia Generally

The severity level of the TBI will be directly and categorically proportional to the connection of it to dementia or any like prolonged effects. A TBI might start showing symptoms after several months or years from its occurrence, and therefore, it is frustrating for the patient and family. It is still practically undeterminable through medical studies as the sole initial or terminal factor causing general dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, other cognitive, mental, physical, and behavioral issues might anyway exist, even if there is no existence of dementia in the patient’s conditions. The type of brain injury, frequency, and the age at which head injuries happen may influence our risk of dementia. Observational studies which identify patterns, links, and trends may help and show an association; however, they cannot evidentially conclude whether head injuries were the direct cause of the increased risk of dementia- rather pave the way to further exploration of direct causes. Traumatic brain injury is perceived as one contributing factor that plays a potential role in increasing the risk of dementia. Other factors like age, genetics, and lifestyle factors (such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity) are better proven to have caused or accelerated dementia and like diseases.

Long Island Head Trauma Law Firm

If you have a catastrophic brain injury and you don’t know how to begin filing a compensation claim following your injury, The New York Personal Injury & No-fault Collections Law Firm can provide you with the sound advice and bold representation you require to achieve the best outcome for your claim. To schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us at any time. At The New York Personal Injury & No-fault Collections Law Firm, we have assisted and won the struggles that our clients have had trying to recover from their accidents. To book your free case review, call 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online.