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Brain Injury Raises Risk of Dementia in Older Vets

A new study of older American veterans finds they're more than twice as likely to develop dementia if they suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when they were younger.

The study was headed up by Dr. Kristine Yaffe, who directs the Memory Disorders Program at the San Francisco VA Medical center. Yaffe says...

"The data suggest that TBI in older veterans may predispose them toward development of symptomatic dementia. And they raise concern about the potential long-term consequences of TBI in younger veterans."

This is of particular note, according to Yaffe, because TBI makes up an estimated 22 percent of all casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. She recommends servicemembers who suffer traumatic brain injury receive prompt diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation to possibly ameliorate long-term problems like dementia.