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Mild TBI linked to brain changes and Alzheimer's risks

New Jersey readers may find it interesting to learn that mild traumatic brain injury is linked to accelerated brain deterioration and mental decline in people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine had 160 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans undergo MRI scans to measure the cortical thickness of their brains. The participants ranged in age from 19 to 58 years, and many of them had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and mild TBI. They were also evaluated for genetic risk of Alzheimer's.

The study found that mild TBI appears to influence the link between genetic risk of Alzheimer's disease and cortical thickness. Veterans with high genetic risk who had suffered a TBI had reduced cortical thickness in areas of the brain known to be susceptible to Alzheimer's.

According to the authors of the study, the findings could be used as a way to detect potential brain deterioration caused by mild TBI. The results also underscore the importance of documenting TBI events and symptoms. Future studies could examine how mild TBI may accelerate the onset of brain deterioration linked to other diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

A traumatic brain injury can cause long-term health problems. While often linked to contact sports like football, these injuries can be caused by car accidents and sudden falls. People who have suffered such an injury as a result of another party's negligence may want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse may be available for seeking compensation for their losses.

Source: Medical News Today, "Concussion linked to brain changes in people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's," Catharine Paddock, Jan. 13, 2017

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