When people begin to understand the repercussions of their accident injuries, it can be extremely daunting to realize that some injuries can progressively get worse. And, unfortunately, injury accidents – especially traumatic brain injury – can, in fact, affect you for the rest of your life, according to a study by the Memory Disorders Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

In their findings, researchers discovered that people diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury had two times the risk of developing dementia – a condition that typically ushers in Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’re now getting a much better understanding that head injury is an important risk factor for developing dementia down the road,” says lead researcher  and director of the program.

Accident injury can lead to greater implications in a patient’s future

The study reviewed extensive medical records – nearly 300,000 – of veterans age 55 and older who at one time or another had reported a brain injury of any degree. Of the group, 2 percent were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. For purposes of the study, the conditions that qualify as a TBI include concussions, post-concussion syndrome, non-specific head injuries, and any skull fractures. For those in the group that had a TBI, nearly 15 percent were also diagnosed with dementia later in life, as opposed to only 7 percent of others who never reported a head injury.

The study only fortifies the findings of many other researchers studying traumatic brain injury, according to Douglas Smith, professor of neurosurgery and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair. In the presence of a traumatic brain injury, dementia may be diagnosed at an earlier age and symptoms may progress greater than others without a TBI.

Unfortunately, brain injury as a result of car accidents happen all too often – nearly 1.7 people are reported to have experienced a TBI due to falls and car accidents.

Brain injury: rehabilitation may help

The researcher pointed out that more research is needed for the study to determine whether or not early rehabilitation can help reduce the risk of early-onset dementia. “If you know you’ve had a head injury and you are approaching older age, one has to be carefully monitored and screened for cognitive dementia,” she said.

If you have been injured in a car accident, and feel as if you may have a head injury or TBI, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The following symptoms may occur in the presence of a TBI according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. But remember – if you suspect you have experienced a traumatic brain injury, please consult your doctor for medical guidance. Do not depend on this list as a conclusive medical guide as individual symptoms may vary.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light/sound
  • Headache/Migraine
  • Difficulty sleeping, or a too much sleep
  • Concentration problems
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Fatigue

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and suspect traumatic brain injury, call a personal injury attorney at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, LLP. at 1-858-551-2090 or contact us online for a free and confidential legal review. The evaluation costs you nothing, and the legal advice is free.