It appears suffering traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may increase an injured veteran’s risk of suffering dementia. A recent Department of Defense (DoD) funded study of 28,000 veterans found TBIs may double the risk of dementia later in life.
Over a 7-year span, 4,902 veterans diagnosed with a TBI were shown to have a 15.3% risk of developing dementia. Conversely, researchers found the risk rate was only 6.8% for those veterans not diagnosed with a TBI.
Researchers accounted for multiple types of TBIs. A statistical difference was noted between varying types of TBIs:
- intercranial injuries (the most common);
- head fractures;
- post-concussion syndrome; and
- head injuries remaining unspecified.
The good news is that the research seems to indicate TBI diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation could possibly help “ward off dementia.” This is an important note as TBIs are becoming so common among our soldiers and veterans. TBIs quickly became dubbed the “signature wound” of Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, TBIs cause 22% of all casualties and almost 60% of “blast-related injuries.”
The relationship between TBIs and “symptomatic dementia” has been studied before. The majority of the research indicates TBIs can result in long-term, late-life consequences. According to the study, almost 33% of TBIs patients who die from their TBIs show similar types of brain damage as Alzheimer’s patients.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.