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Study: Higher risk of mild cognitive impairment following TBI

A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness for more than five minutes were at a greater risk of being diagnosed with a mild cognitive impairment. The study also showed that signs of impairment manifest, on average, 2.3 years earlier than in people with no history of traumatic brain injury. The study reviewed cases of 3,187 people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment versus a group of 3,244 people with normal cognition.

While other studies have implied that sustaining a traumatic brain injury was a risk for later development of neurodegenerative disorders, this was the first study to establish a possible link between sustaining a traumatic brain injury and subsequently developing a traumatic brain injury. In addition to finding this potential link, researchers found several variables associated with a higher risk of mild cognitive impairment. These include traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness for greater than five minutes, certain genetic risk factors, and a history of depression. Although researchers discovered these variables, researchers noted that these risk factors needed further examination.

The data for the study came from patient information documented in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center database. This database is collected from 29 National Institute of Aging-funded Alzheimer's disease centers in the United States.

It was estimated that 1.7 million people per year in the United States sustain traumatic brain injuries.  Falls and car accidents are major causes of brain injuries.

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