Vets with Head Injury More Likely To Develop Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Deborah E. Barnes, PhD, MPH Professor, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Francisco: http://profiles.ucsf.edu/deborah.barnes Research Health Sciences Specialist, San Francisco VA Medical Center Senior Investigator, Tideswell at UCSF: http://www.tideswellucsf.org/ Deborah E. Barnes, PhD, MPH

Professor, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences
Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of California, San Francisco: http://profiles.ucsf.edu/deborah.barnes
Research Health Sciences Specialist
San Francisco VA Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  • Previous studies have found a link between moderate to severe head injuries and increased dementia risk.
  • The association between mild head injuries and dementia – especially mild head injury that doesn’t result in loss of consciousness – is less well established
  • We examined the association between mild head injuries with and without loss of consciousness and dementia diagnoses in nearly 360,000 Veterans receiving care in the VA health care system.
  • We found that Veterans with a head injury diagnoses were two to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those without head injury diagnoses.
  • The risk of dementia diagnosis was doubled in Veterans who experienced head injury without loss of consciousness compared to those with no head injury. 

 MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Even mild head injuries that do not result in loss of consciousness may increase the risk of developing dementia. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Studies of strategies to determine mechanisms, prevention and treatment of brain injury-related dementia are urgently needed. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command and from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium] under Award Nos. W81XWH-13-2-0095 and 1I01CX001246. The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and no official endorsement should be inferred. 

Citations: 

Barnes DE, Byers AL, Gardner RC, Seal KH, Boscardin WJ, Yaffe K. Association of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury With and Without Loss of Consciousness With Dementia in US Military Veterans. JAMA Neurol. Published online May 07, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0815 

 

 

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