Does prior traumatic brain injury increase cognitive impairment in the elderly?




Motier, Bonnice A.

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There is research which demonstrates that traumatic head injury (TBI) is associated with increased incidence of dementia as well as with greater cognitive impairment than is expected in normal aging. However, this literature remains equivocal; studies exploring head injury as a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have yielded conflicting results. The present study examines morbidity, mortality, cognitive impairment and psychosocial issues in seniors with a history of head injury of sufficient severity to cause loss of consciousness. These results suggest that over time, a history of TBI is associated with some increased morbidity with age. Associations between TBI and changes in personality that may lead to impaired psychosocial functioning were also suggested by the findings of this study. Specifically, the results indicated traumatic brain injury may be associated with marital breakdown and social isolation. Additional results suggest that people who have sustained a TBI have an increased likelihood of living in a nursing home or chronic-care facility.



Brain injuries, Dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Aging