Alzheimer’s and Concussion Linked
A new study introduced at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in July, suggest a strong link between head injuries in veterans and dementia. Soldiers who had suffered brain injury were two times more likely to develop the brain disorder.
Another study indicates an even more ominous prognosis for another group of veterans: retired football players. The research shows that by almost three times the normal rate, 35% of former NFL gridiron warriors studied had signs of dementia, compared to 13% in the general population.
Other detailed studies done by research scientists at various universities including Loyola University in Chicago, UCLA and at the University of Pennsylvania, research indicates a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the development of ‘brain clogging plaque and tangles’ that are known to cause Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The new research on combat veterans is especially worrisome to Dr. Douglas Smith, of the Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair. He suggested that these injuries and long term effects to the brain may make the “Agent Orange” concerns of a generation ago “pale by comparison”.