Warning to anyone who’s had concussion over ‘increased risk’ of dementia

JUST three hits to the head over a lifetime is enough to increase your risk of dementia, a study finds.

Experts from the University of Oxford studied 15,000 people over the age of 50 and found that concussions are linked to lower brain performance later in life.

Head injuries often don't require medical attention, but repeated impacts can cause long-term damage


Head injuries often don’t require medical attention, but repeated impacts can cause long-term damagePhoto credit: Getty

Brain function was worse in people who had suffered three minor or moderate blows to the head or just a single severe one.

Scientists warned people not to give up risky hobbies or jobs if they suffer a head injury.

Study author Dr. Vanessa Raymont said: “The more times you injure your brain throughout your life, the worse your brain function could be as you age.

“We know that head injuries are a major risk factor for dementia.”

The NHS says you should go to A&E if a blow knocks you unconscious or triggers vomiting, memory loss, mood swings or an unstoppable headache.

High-risk accidents can include hitting the head from a fall, a sporting collision in rugby or football, or a car accident.

There is evidence that even multiple small bumps can cause brain damage later in life, with retired ex-footballers like Jeff Astle being diagnosed with dementia.

Rugby Football Union bosses are considering lowering the tackle height limit in amateur leagues to the hips to reduce head injuries.

The Oxford study asked more than 15,000 Britons aged 50 to 90 how many head injuries they had suffered and then compared their brain test results.

The results, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, found that scores were “significantly worse” in people who reported more impact.

They had shorter attention spans, slower reaction speeds, and were less able to solve complex puzzles.

dr Helen Brooker, co-author of the Exeter University study, said: “We are learning that life events that may seem insignificant can have an impact on the brain.

“Our results indicate that rehabilitation should focus on key functions such as paying attention and completing complex tasks that are vulnerable to long-term damage.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/7265881/warning-concussions-head-injury-brain-power-dementia-risk/ Warning to anyone who’s had concussion over ‘increased risk’ of dementia

Emma James

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