Adults in their mid-50s and older who sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a fall or other mishap are at increased risk for dementia, a new study hints.
“I hope that these results will highlight the critical importance of preventing falls in older adults,” first author Raquel C. Gardner, MD, from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center in California, told Medscape Medical News. “Fall prevention will not only prevent bodily injury but may even help prevent dementia,” she said.
Their study was published online October 27 in JAMA Neurology.
More than 60% of all hospital admissions for TBI are in people aged 55 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the researchers write. The highest rates of TBI-related emergency department visits, inpatient visits, and deaths are among people 75 and older.
Prior studies looking at a possible link between a single TBI and the risk for dementia have yielded conflicting results, and most have not included patients with non-TBI trauma (NTT) as controls, the study team says.