A lot of research has been devoted to exploring whether people who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia. The evidence points towards a link but exactly how TBI affects the brain’s cognition remains a controversial topic among scientists, with some linking it to the build up of beta amyloid plaque. To date, there is no consensus on how it affects age-related cognitive change, a key way to measure the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Contrary to what we’ve been hearing lately, a new study by researchers at Boston University Medical Center has shown that it might have no effect on age-related cognitive decline. Researchers compared the performance of 706 people on cognitive tests over time, using data from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database. The group contained people with and without Alzheimer’s, and carriers of the ApoE4 gene. Comparisons were made between people of a similar age and background and researchers found that the rates of cognitive change were no different among people who suffered a brain injury and those who didn’t, even among the genetically predisposed.
Read the full study here.