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Links between concussions and Alzheimer's risks

Traumatic brain injuries that are classified as moderate-to-severe are considered risk factors for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Louisiana residents who have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, and have a genetic risk for Alzheimer's should be aware that they may also have an added link to the accelerated mental decline and brain deterioration common with the disease.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that is most commonly exhibited as dementia, a term broadly used to refer to the level of mental decline that affects an individual's quality of life. Over 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease, and that number is expected to increase as more members of the baby boom generation reach the ages of 65 years or older, the age range with the highest risk. It is the only one of the top 10 causes of deaths in the country for which there is no preventative, curative or decelerating measures.

A study conducted by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine indicate that even mild head injuries can result in long-term brain issues when there is also a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's. The researchers also noted that even though moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury is one the strongest environmental risk factors for late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, there is uncertainty as to whether this is the case with mild traumatic brain injuries.

The results of the study reveal the importance of keeping track of concussion events and symptoms. This includes incidences from which individuals are able to recover very quickly.

Individuals who sustain head injuries due to the negligent actions of another person may have legal recourse. A personal injury attorney may work to obtain compensation for rehabilitation, long-term care or permanent disability.

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