Traumatic brain injuries can be some of the most concerning and devastating types of personal injuries, with lifelong consequences and effects that continue to be the subject of scientific research. According to research conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, traumatic brain injuries and concussions may lead to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at an earlier age.

The research used confirmed cases of Alzheimer’s disease at the time of autopsy to look into ongoing effects of brain injury. When analyzing over 2,100 cases, the researchers discovered that people with brain injuries that included a loss of consciousness for over five minutes were diagnosed earlier in their lives with dementia than those who had not suffered such injuries. On average, the difference in diagnosis date spanned two and one-half years. Concerns about TBI and other head injuries have received greater attention in recent years due to inquiries into the role of such devastating injuries in sports like football. Many former NFL players may have permanent damage as a result of concussions and head injuries.

The researchers also said that they are unable to predict an increased risk of earlier onset of dementia in a particular case. Other research has shown that a history of brain injury can be accompanied with earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease by up to nine years. It is also currently unclear what exactly happens after a traumatic brain injury that could lead to earlier onset of dementia later on in life.

A brain injury can be devastating and carry consequences that linger on extensively into an accident victim’s life. People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries due to someone else’s negligent or dangerous behavior may be able to work with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may help to pursue compensation for present and potential future damages as a result of a brain injury.