Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Development of Alzheimer’s Plaques by New Study
Sustaining a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may contribute to the accumulation of Alzheimer’s-type plaques in the brain, according to the findings of a recent study.
Published in early February in online journal Neurology, this small-scale study found that, over the course of months to years, TBI survivors developed an increasing amount of amyloid plagues in their brains. Amyloid plaques in the brain’s nerve cells are an indication of Alzheimer’s disease.
Background on the Study
To examine the potential link between moderate to severe TBI and dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, researchers focused on 28 people – 9 with TBI (which occurred within months to years of the study), 10 with Alzheimer’s, and 9 with neither condition.
Over the course of the study, the various groups of participants were given imaging tests (including MRIs and PET scans) to evaluate the level of damage to and the presence of amyloid plaques in their brains.
What they reportedly found was that:
- The participants who had a TBI or Alzheimer’s disease had a buildup of amyloid plaques in their posterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain commonly impacted by Alzheimer’s in its early stages.
- Those with TBIs also displayed an increasing amount of these plaques in their cerebellum.
- Those who had TBIs that damaged the white matter of the brain tended to have more amyloid plaques (when compared to the other TBI participants).
Researchers Call for Further Studies
Although the findings of this study could have significant impacts on TBI survivors, researchers have noted that their study was limited in size and that, consequently, further research should be conducted to confirm their findings.
As David Sharp, study author, explained:
More and more evidence suggests brain trauma can trigger long-term processes that may be harmful, suggesting the window for treatment after a head injury may be much greater than previously thought…. Additional research needs to be done to understand these long-term processes, such as amyloid plaque deposition and persistent brain inflammation, and of course to develop treatments that target these processes.
Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI or any catastrophic injury as a result of negligence, contact a Columbia SC personal injury attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward. Since 1993, our lawyers have been committed to protecting the rights of injured people and helping them succeed in their financial recovery.
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