Traumatic Brain Injuries and Dementia

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A recently published study in JAMA Neurology suggests traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occurring in adults aged 55 years and older may be linked to an increased risk of dementia.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals aged 55 or older account for 60% of hospitalizations for traumatic brain injury. And the highest rates of TBI-related ER visits, inpatient hospital stays, and deaths occur among people aged 75 or older.

Recent TBI and Dementia Study

Links between TBI and Dementia have been studied before, but according to researchers in this latest study, including Dr. Raquel C. Gardner of the University of California-San Francisco, other studies have been subject to numerous limitations.

The research team used information from a health database of the emergency room and inpatient visits to identify 164,661 patients aged 55 years and older who had no prior signs of dementia and who had been recently diagnosed with TBI or non-TBI body trauma (NTT). NTT or TBI body trauma are fractures occurring in areas of the body other than the head or neck. Patients were then followed for an average of 5.7 years.


51,799 patients were diagnosed with TBI. Of those, 8.4% developed dementia. When compared with the patients diagnosed with NTT, 5.9% of those patients developed dementia. It was noted that in the TBI patients, on average dementia developed within 3.1 years, as compared to the 3.3 years among NTT patients.

Primary Prevention of TBI

Given their results, the research team had this to say: “Given the high rates of TBI in the population, primary prevention of TBI, which in this study was overwhelmingly (66.4%) due to falls, is critical.”

If you or a family member have been injured with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you need the expert advice of brain injury lawyers such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.

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