Dementia Resulting From Traumatic Brain Injury: What Is the Pathology?
ABSTRACT Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the earliest illnesses described in human history and remains a major source of morbidity and mortality in the modern era. It is estimated that 2% of the US population lives with long-term disabilities due to a prior TBI, and incidence and prevalence rates are even higher in developing countries. One of the most feared long-term consequences of TBIs is dementia, as multiple epidemiologic studies show that experiencing a TBI in early or midlife is associated with an increased risk of dementia in late life. The best data indicate that moderate and severe TBIs increase risk of dementia between 2- and 4-fold. It is less clear whether mild TBIs such as brief concussions result in increased dementia risk, in part because mild head injuries are often not well documented and retrospective studies have recall bias. However, it has been observed for many years that multiple mild TBIs as experienced by professional boxers are associated with a high risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of dementia with distinctive clinical and pathologic features. The recent recognition that CTE is common in retired professional football and hockey players has rekindled interest in this condition, as has the recognition that military personnel also experience high rates of mild TBIs and may have a similar syndrome. It is presently unknown whether dementia in TBI survivors is pathophysiologically similar to Alzheimer disease, CTE, or some other entity. Such information is critical for developing preventive and treatment strategies for a common cause of acquired dementia. Herein, we will review the epidemiologic data linking TBI and dementia, existing clinical and pathologic data, and will identify areas where future research is needed.
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ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging plays a critical role in the evaluation of patients with traumatic brain injury, with NCCT as the first-line of imaging for patients with traumatic brain injury and MR imaging being recommended in specific settings. Advanced neuroimaging techniques, including MR imaging DTI, blood oxygen level\Ndependent fMRI, MR spectroscopy, perfusion imaging, PET/SPECT, and magnetoencephalography, are of particular interest in identifying further injury in patients with traumatic brain injury when conventional NCCT and MR imaging findings are normal, as well as for prognostication in patients with persistent symptoms. These advanced neuroimaging techniques are currently under investigation in an attempt to optimize them and substantiate their clinical relevance in individual patients. However, the data currently available confine their use to the research arena for group comparisons, and there remains insufficient evidence at the time of this writing to conclude that these advanced techniques can be used for routine clinical use at the individual patient level. TBI imaging is a rapidly evolving field, and a number of the recommendations presented will be updated in the future to reflect the advances in medical knowledge. © 2015 American Society of Neuroradiology.AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology. 11/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are induced by sudden acceleration-deceleration and/or rotational forces acting on the brain. Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) has been identified as one of the chief underlying causes of morbidity and mortality in head trauma incidents. DAIs refer to microscopic white matter (WM) injuries as a result of shearing forces that induce pathological and anatomical changes within the brain, which potentially contribute to significant impairments later in life. These microscopic injuries are often unidentifiable by the conventional computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) scans employed by emergency departments to initially assess head trauma patients and, as a result, TBIs are incredibly difficult to diagnose. The impairments associated with TBI may be caused by secondary mechanisms that are initiated at the moment of injury, but often have delayed clinical presentations that are difficult to assess due to the initial misdiagnosis. As a result, the true consequences of these head injuries may go unnoticed at the time of injury and for many years thereafter. The purpose of this review is to investigate these consequences of TBI and their potential link to neurodegenerative disease (ND). This review will summarize the current epidemiological findings, the pathological similarities, and new neuroimaging techniques that may help delineate the relationship between TBI and ND. Lastly, this review will discuss future directions and propose new methods to overcome the limitations that are currently impeding research progress. It is imperative that improved techniques are developed to adequately and retrospectively assess TBI history in patients that may have been previously undiagnosed in order to increase the validity and reliability across future epidemiological studies. The authors introduce a new surveillance tool (Retrospective Screening of Traumatic Brain Injury Questionnaire, RESTBI) to address this concern.Journal of Alzheimer's disease & Parkinsonism. 01/2014; 4.
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ABSTRACT: The role of amyloid-β (Aβ) neuropathology and its significant changes in biofluids after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is still debated. We used ultrasensitive digital ELISA approach to assess amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ42) concentrations and time-course in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in plasma of patients with severe TBI and investigated their relationship to injury characteristics, neurological status and clinical outcome. We found decreased CSF Aβ42 levels in TBI patients acutely after injury with lower levels in patients who died 6 months post-injury than in survivors. Conversely, plasma Aβ42 levels were significantly increased in TBI with lower levels in patients who survived. A trend analysis showed that both CSF and plasma Aβ42 levels strongly correlated with mortality. A positive correlation between changes in CSF Aβ42 concentrations and neurological status as assessed by Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was identified. Our results suggest that determination of Aβ42 may be valuable to obtain prognostic information in patients with severe TBI as well as in monitoring the response of the brain to injury.Scientific reports. 01/2014; 4:6446.