Article

Cognitive decline in older adults with a history of traumatic brain injury

Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory, Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ, USA.
The Lancet Neurology (Impact Factor: 21.82). 12/2012; 11(12):1103-12. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70226-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health problem with potentially serious long-term neurobehavioural sequelae. There is evidence to suggest that a history of TBI can increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. However, individuals with dementia do not usually have a history of TBI, and survivors of TBI do not invariably acquire dementia later in life. Instead, a history of traumatic brain injury, combined with brain changes associated with normal ageing, might lead to exacerbated cognitive decline in older adults. Strategies to increase or maintain cognitive reserve might help to prevent exacerbated decline after TBI. Systematic clinical assessment could help to differentiate between exacerbated cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment, a precursor of Alzheimer's disease, with important implications for patients and their families.

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    • "This interpretation would be in line with findings of exacerbated cortical thinning and ventricular expansion with advancing age in the same sample of former concussed athletes (Tremblay et al., 2013). Overall, these results provide support for the notion that structural injury from TBI, even if not grossly apparent, might reduce the resilience of the brain and expedite the degenerative effects of ageing (Moretti et al., 2012). The consequence of this in practical terms may be that those individuals who have been concussed may experience age-related cognitive alterations earlier in life. "
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