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Can a brain injury lead to dementia?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), like the kind that can be caused in car accidents, can have immediate consequences for a victim’s life. It can take weeks, months and years for a TBI victim to recover – if they ever do.

Unfortunately, even if a head injury seems to heal over time, the victim may still experience long-term consequences later in the form of dementia.

How TBIs and dementia are linked

Traumatic brain injuries can occur from both open and closed head wounds, and they can range in severity from concussions to comas – some are even fatal. Research has shown, however, that even relatively mild TBIs can be linked to an increased risk of dementia later in life. 

While numerous studies have been done (and many more are ongoing), at least one pivotal piece of research that looked at 25 years worth of data on brain injuries discovered the following:

  • 9.5% of all dementia cases may be related to a head injury
  • One head injury increases the chance of dementia by 1.25 times
  • Two head injuries doubles the risk of someone developing dementia
  • Women are more prone to dementia from head injuries than men
  • Whites are more prone to injury-related dementia than Blacks

It’s still not fully understood what this data means and why there are differences that correlate with race and gender. What is known is that even mild TBIs cause immediate neurological damage in the brain, disrupting neural pathways and triggering inflammatory responses that cause abnormal proteins to build up in the brain. 

If you or your loved one suffered a serious head injury in a wreck, it’s important to think far ahead into the future when you’re contemplating what a fair settlement looks like. Experienced legal guidance can help.