Health and Beauty

Dementia Unsw

Opinion Having a brain injury does not mean you'll get dementia

What did the studies find?

Two recent studies have assessed whether traumatic brain injuries are related to dementia.

Study 1 . A research group from the University of California examined the medical records of over 350,000 US veterans, half of whom had experienced a traumatic brain injury. They found those who had a mild traumatic brain injury were more than twice as likely to develop dementia. The risk was even greater (about 2.5 times) if they had lost consciousness as a result of the traumatic brain injury. People who had moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries were nearly four times as likely to develop dementia.

Study 2 . Danish researchers examined the national records of nearly 2.8 million citizens who were over 50 years old between 1999 and 2013. They found 126,734 people had dementia (4.5%) and 132,093 had a history of traumatic brain injury (4.7%). They reported the risk of dementia was 24% higher for people who had a previous traumatic brain injury. These risks were even higher for males, people who had a more severe traumatic brain injury, and for people who had more than one traumatic brain injury in the past.