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Research Connects Traumatic Brain Injury to Degenerative Disease

Could a traumatic brain injury (TBI) increase your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease? What about other degenerative diseases that happen later in life? One researcher thinks it could.

Dr. Bruce L. Miller, Director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California — San Francisco School of Medicine, recently spoke at the 28th annual Alzheimer’s Disease Research Symposium at Marysville College about his work with retired NFL players. He said,

“I think we have underestimated the link between traumatic brain injuries and degenerative diseases. … There is a huge, important link related to brain trauma even early in life and degenerative diseases later in life.”

For football players and boxers suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) that could mean the onset of memory loss and Parkinson’s disease years after the original injury. Boxer Mike Tyson may be an example of this progression, but CTE can only be definitively diagnosed by an autopsy of the brain after the athlete dies.

Miller’s study of 30 former NFL players has been able to predict the onset of degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. He called TBI a growing epidemic, affecting everyone from athletes to veterans.

People who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury are at least 1.5 times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. With approximately 80,000 people disabled due to TBI, that is a lot of people who could suffer from very debilitating diseases later in life.

That is why early diagnosis and treatment of TBI is so important. Even an apparently mild concussion can develop secondary symptoms down the road. Without careful monitoring and treatment these symptoms could affect a person’s ability to work, live, and care for themselves independently.

Christensen Law understands the complicated and evolving effects of traumatic brain injury. David Christensen and his team of experts can help TBI victims from auto accidents get their medical treatment paid for, and can help them find the best experts to help them avoid more serious consequences later on in life. If you or someone you love has suffered traumatic brain injury, contact Christensen Law for a consultation today.