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Traumatic brain injury may increase dementia risk

Being injured in any kind of accident can turn your life upside down. For most victims, the lifestyle change that accompanies an injury is only temporary until the wounds heal and they are able to get back to their day-to-day lives. Yet, those who suffer serious injuries like a traumatic brain injury can be left with negative effects for the rest of their lives.

Although these effects often include physical and cognitive limitations, the impact of a traumatic brain injury may be more substantial and far-reaching than we once believed. According to some studies, those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia. Those individuals who have a history of multiple traumatic brain injuries can see their risk of developing dementia rise by more than 400 percent.

The exact relation between traumatic brain injury and dementia is still unknown, however. Some theorize that traumatic brain injuries can further abnormalities found in certain proteins that have been linked to Alzheimer's. Others suggest that the relationship between traumatic brain injury and dementia may be based on the victim's genes. As this area of research continues to develop, it is important to note that not everyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury will develop dementia.

Caring for a brain injury, let alone dementia, can be enormously difficult. The medical expenses can skyrocket, and the limitations placed on one's life can be depressing and demoralizing. Additionally, such an injury can affect one's ability to work, which means that lost wages can leave a victim in dire financial straits. That is why those whose injuries have been caused by the negligence of another need to consider their legal options, as compensation may be recoverable.

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