The Link Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Dementia

traumatic brain injury and dementia

Fans of professional football are probably well aware of the discussion in the National Football League (NFL) revolving around traumatic brain injuries. The NFL is frequently changing the rules and improving the equipment used by the players to help reduce the incidence of concussions, the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Of course, the occurrence of such injuries is not limited to athletes. Traumatic brain injuries occur most frequently as a result of falls and motor vehicle accidents. While such injuries from falls are usually limited to the elderly population, traumatic injuries resulting from car accidents are numerous and affect drivers and passengers of all ages.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

After a motor vehicle accident, it is common to hear complaints of neck and back pain from drivers and passengers. These injuries are often not serious and resolve after a few weeks. On the other hand, traumatic brain injuries are serious business and the long term effects of concussions can be devastating.  

So exactly what is a traumatic brain injury and how do they usually occur? A traumatic brain injury is basically any injury that occurs to the head that results in an injury to the brain. The injury can occur from an object striking the head, such as a tree branch or an airborne object, or the head striking an object, such as a pavement or a dashboard. The impact does not have to be a severe one to cause a traumatic brain injury. In fact, an actual impact of the head with an object may not even be necessary for such an injury to occur. The sudden jolting of the head from a severe enough crash can result in a brain injury.  While the initial injury may appear to resolve quickly, the long term effects of concussions can persist for months or even years.

Causes of Dementia

The damage that can result from a traumatic brain injury can resolve quickly or become permanent. Most concerning is the link between traumatic brain injuries and dementia that has been discovered over the last few years. Researchers have found a link between the occurrence of a traumatic brain injury and the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, years after the injury. While there is no evidence that every head trauma increases the risk of future dementia, the link has been clearly established.

Enduring Traumatic Brain Injuries

As mentioned above, the link between suffering a traumatic brain injury and subsequent development of dementia in later years has been confirmed. Studies involving millions of victims of traumatic brain injuries have shown that even a mild traumatic brain injury results in a significantly higher risk of developing dementia later in life.

Drivers can suffer such a head injury subsequent to their head impacting the steering wheel, while passengers are victims of violent impacts of their heads with the dashboard or other objects that may be thrust airborne from the impact of the accident. Studies of head trauma and development of dementia suggest that significant cognitive rehabilitation training may help reduce the mental deficits, but nothing can prevent the development of future dementia later in life. If you have been involved in a car accident and have sustained head trauma, you should seek out medical care from a qualified physician immediately.  

Long Term Effects of Concussions

If you have suffered a head injury and have concerns regarding the long-term effects of your injury, you should contact the personal injury attorney you can trust at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao. Our expert lawyers can assist you through the whole process from start to finish to get you full compensation for the damages sustained in the accident, including payment of all medical and treatment bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and compensation for your pain and suffering. Call us today for a free consultation at (973) 358-6134.