The VA and the Kristine Yaffe Lab at the University of California, San Francisco, have taken a new approach to understanding the association of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) – with or without loss of consciousness (LOC) – with dementia among Veterans. The study included over 170,000 Veterans in the VA health care system who were diagnosed with various levels of TBI severity.
Their study found that TBI with and without LOC are both associated with a heightened risk of developing dementia. Even mild TBI without LOC the risk of a dementia diagnosis doubled.
So, what is (TBI)? TBI is a complex physiological condition that can arise when a brain experiences trauma, either directly or indirectly, during any variety of moderate to catastrophic events. TBI can affect your quality of life and cognitive thinking ability. The condition has been studied in-depth by some the world’s leading neurologist, neuropsychologists, and neuropsychiatrists. TBI among Veterans has become a key focus area of VA physical and mental health care providers.
Evaluation by a physician is critical to help identify and address symptoms of TBI. With the many causes of TBI, such as motor vehicle collisions, sports – related injuries, and falls, TBI can be difficult to diagnose. Among Veterans, TBI may be caused by a single event, such as an IED blast, but can also occur over time as a result of repetitive jolts to the head or neck. If you have had a recent head injury, or if you had a head injury in the past and are concerned about recent changes in your memory, consult your physician for screening.