Nevada residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury may be at increased risk of dementia, a study published in January 2018 indicates. These injuries led to over 2.5 million visits to the emergency room in 2013 around the country, and it is a major cause of disability and fatalities.

TBIs are on the rise. Emergency room visits for head injuries for children due to sports and recreation accidents were twice as numerous in 2012 as they were in 2001. Some effects are well-known, including memory impairments, emotional issues and cognitive difficulties.

A study conducted in Sweden examined 3 million people who were diagnosed as having TBI or dementia between 1964 and 2012. All study participants were at or over 50 years of age. Participants were compared with those who did not, and sibling comparisons were a special focus. The study showed that 30 years or more following a TBI incident, there is a 25 percent greater risk of developing dementia. In the first year after a TBI, the link is even more strong. The study also showed a connection between repeated or more severe injuries and the later development of dementia. The study included over 46,000 pairs of siblings and showed the same strong correlation between TBI and dementia. By comparing siblings, researchers were able to control for the influence of genetics, education, socio-economic status and early life experiences.

While brain injuries are most often associated with contact sports, they can also occur in a car crash or a slip and fall. People who have incurred a TBI as the result of another party’s negligence might want to have legal support when seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.