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Study establishes link between brain injuries and dementia


Every brain injury lawyer is aware of the diverse and long-lasting affects of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but a study published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry this April has revealed a stronger-than-ever link between TBIs and dementia. The findings could affect the amount of compensation available in future brain injury cases.

The exhaustive study examined nearly three million people in Denmark over a 36-year period. It found that individuals who suffered traumatic brain injuries had a 24 per cent higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia than individuals who had never suffered such an injury.

The correlation was particularly strong among people who suffered TBIs in their 20s. These individuals were 63 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia by their 50s than individuals who did not suffer a TBI in their 20s.

The study also showed that a greater number of brain injuries means a greater risk of dementia.

“There was a clear pattern between the number of brain injuries a person has and their risk of dementia as well as the severity of the brain injury and their subsequent risk of dementia,” said study co-author Jesse Fann, according to Global News. Fann is a professor in the University of Washington School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences.

While the study’s findings are grim from the perspective of a brain injury lawyer or victim, experts on the subject believe it could inspire positive change in society. The clear link between brain injury and dementia may prompt governments to establish helmet and road safety laws and increase awareness of compounding risk factors like alcoholism, tobacco use, and obesity. It may also pave the way for more research.

“This is a solid research study with an impressively large cohort,” Dr. Tom Schweizr, director of St. Michael’s Hospital’s Neuroscience Research Program told Global News in an email. “This study provides compelling evidence of a link between TBI and dementia, that goes beyond typical studies focusing on professional athletes on contact sports (e.g., football), to include a broader representation of the general public.”

Individuals who have suffered a serious head injury should contact a brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. The personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP can explain your legal options and help you access compensation to finance your recovery. Contact Will Davidson LLP’s Oakville offices today at 1-866-503-8757 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.


Image credit: NTNU medisin og helse/Flickr


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