Ronald W. Ramirez, Attorney at Law

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Traumatic brain injuries increase risk of dementia

There are numerous types of traumatic brain injuries people can suffer. For example, a person could have a concussion as a result of a direct blow to the head or a contusion. These injuries can result in damage to one or several parts of the brain, and many scientists now believe one of the side effects might be dementia. 

It is paramount that when a person experienced sufficient brain trauma, he or she sees a doctor right away. Prompt treatment can help the person circumvent health issues later down the line. There are numerous symptoms a sufferer may experience, such as persistent headaches, slurred speech and balance disorders, and researchers from Sweden suggest dementia could be another symptom on the list. 

Greater risk

For years, the link between traumatic brain injuries and dementia was always slightly tenuous. However, researchers believe they have found a clear link. In many cases, the link between the two incidents centers around the severity of the initial injury. If the traumatic brain injury was more extreme, then it appears that the risk of developing dementia increases more. Additionally, the link appears to be stronger during the first four years following the injury. After that time, the risk appears to drop dramatically. 

Impact of blood alcohol concentration

One common way in which people experience traumatic brain injuries is after a DUI accident. As a result, the sufferer has a high blood alcohol concentration in his or her system at the moment of the injury. While researchers need to conduct more studies, excessive alcohol could also contribute to the higher rate of dementia in traumatic brain injury sufferers. In addition to alcohol being present at the time of the accident, someone who is likely to drive while drunk will probably have higher alcohol concentrations in general. 

A number of factors can impact a person's risk of dementia. For example, boxers are 200 to 400 times more likely to develop dementia than the regular population. More research is necessary, but members of the general population should be wary of excessive head trauma and see a doctor after such an injury. 

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