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Serious injury to brain linked to mild cognitive impairment

Based on new research, it appears that traumatic brain injury is related to an increased risk as well as the earlier onset of a mild level of cognitive impairment. According to researchers, people in New Mexico and other states who suffered serious injury to the brain and lost consciousness for over five minutes face a higher risk of being giving a mild cognitive impairment diagnosis. The people in one recent study additionally showed signs of this type of impairment, also known as MCI, more than two years earlier on average when compared to people without a history of traumatic brain injury.

The study involved more than 3,100 people who were diagnosed with MCI versus a group of more than 3,200 normal-cognition individuals. Other past studies indicated that traumatic injury to the brain is a risk factor for the future development of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. However, this new report was the first one to link MCI and traumatic brain injury.

Besides the link between brain injury with the loss of consciousness and MCI, researchers learned that a history of depression is also linked to a higher risk for developing MCI. Particular genetic risk factors are also connected to MCI. In 2010, traumatic brain injuries were the reason for nearly 2.5 million visits to the emergency room, hospitalizations and even deaths in the U.S.

As March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, now is an ideal time for individuals to check to see if additional follow-up care is needed after experiencing a brain injury, no matter how mild or severe. If a person's serious injury to the brain was caused by another party's negligence, this person may also choose to file a personal injury claim against that party, seeking damages. A damage award in a successfully fought case in New Mexico may help the victim to cover his or her related medical costs and other losses.

Source: news-medical.net, "Traumatic brain injury appears to be linked to increased risk of mild cognitive impairment", March 16, 2016

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