Brain injuries may not increase victims' risk of dementia, study says

When folks in Minnesota suffer a traumatic brain injury, it is extremely important that they get medical treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent the injury from causing permanent or long-term damage.

Traumatic brain injuries can have devastating effects, leaving victims with memory loss, personality changes and other disabling symptoms. When a brain injury makes it difficult for someone to function at work or from being able to earn more than $1,000 per month for at least 12 months, the individual may be eligible to obtain Social Security disability benefits.

Folks who do suffer brain injuries often fear their lives will be destroyed by the effects of their injuries. However, one of the supposed consequences people may not have to worry about after sustaining a brain injury is an increased risk of suffering from dementia. According to researchers, suffering a brain injury does not necessarily increase one's risk of developing dementia later on in life.

Although folks may not be more likely to develop dementia as a result of a brain injury, researchers did say that suffering a brain injury could increase one's risk of suffering subsequent head injuries in the future that could result in serious damage.

Researchers analyzed more than 4,000 brain injury patients who were injured during a 16-year period. Researchers did not discover an increased risk of dementia among the patients, but they did discover that patients who suffered subsequent head injuries and were knocked unconscious were more likely to suffer serious injuries, including fatal injuries.

When folks do suffer a brain injury, it is important that they inform their doctors about all of their symptoms so that doctors can properly monitor their conditions and treat the symptoms. Brain injury symptoms may be minor, but if one's symptoms do begin to affect one's ability to perform normal daily tasks at home and at work, folks should start to document the changes. When applying for disability benefits for a brain injury, folks will need to submit medical documents and other documents to prove their conditions are disabling.

Source: HealthDay, "Study: Dementia isn't inevitable for brain injury patients," Steven Reinberg, Jan. 8, 2013

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