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: Amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides, found in Alzheimer's disease brain, accumulate rapidly after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both humans and animals. Here we show that blocking either beta- or gamma-secretase, enzymes required for production of Abeta from amyloid precursor protein (APP), can ameliorate motor and cognitive deficits and reduce cell loss after experimental TBI in mice. Thus, APP secretases are promising targets for treatment of TBI.Nature medicine 05/2009; 15(4):377-9. · 27.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It has been suggested in some studies that head injury is a risk factor for AD, and that this risk is heightened among carriers of the APOE-epsilon4 allele. We examined the effects of head injury and APOE genotype on AD risk in a large family study. A total of 2,233 probands who met criteria for probable or definite AD and their 14,668 first-degree family members (4,465 parents, 7,694 siblings, and 2,509 spouses) were ascertained at 13 centers in the United States, Canada, and Germany participating in the MIRAGE (Multi-Institutional Research in Alzheimer Genetic Epidemiology) project. Information on head injury was collected by interview of multiple informants and review of medical records. Nondemented relatives and spouses served as control subjects for this study. Odds of AD for head trauma with or without loss of consciousness were computed by comparing probands with unaffected spouses using conditional logistic regression analysis. To account for the unique biologic relationship between probands and their parents and siblings, odds of AD were computed using a generalized estimating equation (GEE) Poisson regression approach. GEE logistic regression was used to examine the joint effects of APOE genotype and head injury on the odds of AD in probands and a control group comprised of unaffected siblings and spouses. Comparison of probands with their unaffected spouses yielded odds ratios for AD of 9.9 (95% CI, 6.5 to 15.1) for head injury with loss of consciousness and 3.1 (2.3 to 4.0) for head injury without loss of consciousness. The corresponding odds derived from the comparison of probands with their parents and sibs were 4.0 (2.9 to 5.5) for head injury with loss of consciousness and 2.0 (1.5 to 2.7) for head injury without loss of consciousness. Head injury without loss of consciousness did not significantly increase the risk of AD in spouses (OR = 1.3; 95% CI, 0.4 to 4.1). The joint effects of head injury and APOE genotype were evaluated in a subsample of 942 probands and 327 controls (spouses and siblings). Head injury increased the odds of AD to a greater extent among those lacking epsilon4 (OR = 3.3) than among epsilon4 heterozygotes (OR = 1.8) or homozygotes (OR = 1.3). Head injury is a risk factor for AD. The magnitude of the risk is proportional to severity and heightened among first-degree relatives of AD patients. The influence of head injury on the risk of AD appears to be greater among persons lacking APOE-epsilon4 compared with those having one or two epsilon4 alleles, suggesting that these risk factors may have a common biologic underpinning.Neurology 04/2000; 54(6):1316-23. · 8.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine the spatial distribution of cortical and subcortical volume loss in patients with diffuse traumatic axonal injury and to assess the relationship between regional atrophy and functional outcome. Prospective imaging study. Longitudinal changes in global and regional brain volumes were assessed using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging-based morphometric analysis. Inpatient traumatic brain injury unit. Twenty-five patients with diffuse traumatic axonal injury and 22 age- and sex-matched controls. Changes in global and regional brain volumes between initial and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess the spatial distribution of posttraumatic volume loss. The Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended score was the primary measure of functional outcome. Patients underwent substantial global atrophy with mean whole-brain parenchymal volume loss of 4.5% (95% confidence interval, 2.7%-6.3%). Decreases in volume (at a false discovery rate of 0.05) were seen in several brain regions including the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, corpus callosum, putamen, precuneus, postcentral gyrus, paracentral lobule, and parietal and frontal cortices, while other regions such as the caudate and inferior temporal cortex were relatively resistant to atrophy. Loss of whole-brain parenchymal volume was predictive of long-term disability, as was atrophy of particular brain regions including the inferior parietal cortex, pars orbitalis, pericalcarine cortex, and supramarginal gyrus. Traumatic axonal injury leads to substantial posttraumatic atrophy that is regionally selective rather than diffuse, and volume loss in certain regions may have prognostic value for functional recovery.Archives of neurology 11/2010; 67(11):1336-44. · 6.31 Impact Factor