Study: Traumatic Brain Injury Linked To Mild Cognitive ImpairmentMarch 22, 2016
Researches at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas recently revealed a study that linked traumatic brain injury (TBI) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The study found that traumatic brain injury who had lost consciousness for at least five minute had a higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment within less than three years. The study’s lead author stated that, while the research shows a link between TBI and MCI, “More research needs to be done to explore this apparent link.”
What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?
The Mayo Clinic defines mild cognitive impairment as “an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia.” Symptoms of MCI can include “problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes.” Dr. C. Munro Cullum, the lead author of the UT Southwestern traumatic brain injury study, stated that his team’s research efforts make up one of the first studies to examine the links between TBI and MCI.
Details of the Traumatic Brain Injury Study
The traumatic brain injury study examined more than 3,100 cases involving MCI, as well as over 3,200 cases of patients with normal cognition levels. The researchers found that patients who had experienced a traumatic brain injury incident suffered MCI 2.3 years earlier than those who had no history of TBI. Dr. Cullum stated that the study “shows a correlation between TBI and MCI, but more research needs to be done” to establish any causal relationship between TBI and MCI.
Traumatic Brain Injury Study Examines Risk Factors
The study also found links between MCI and loss of consciousness during the traumatic brain injury incident. Researchers found that patients who had lost consciousness when they suffered their traumatic brain injury were 20 to 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with MCI later in life. Other factors linked to a higher incidence of MCI included the patient’s genetic risk factors and a history of clinical depression. Dr. Cullum proposed the theory that TBI could “activate a neurodegenerative process” that could lead to MCI later in life.
Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Alzheimer’s
The data from the traumatic brain injury study came from a database owned by the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center. The Center pools data from 29 research facilities that study the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies have linked traumatic brain injury to the early onset of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Cullum serves as a member of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern, which directed his TBI study.
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NOTE: This blog post is a news story and does not constitute an endorsement of the Amaro Law Firm by any parties mentioned herein.