Studies on American veterans with TBI – traumatic brain injury – reveal that they may be at greater risk for developing dementia later in life. One such study published in July 2014 issue of Neurology, examined more than 188,000 American Veterans over the age of 55 for nine years. During that time, 16 percent of the vets with a past diagnosis of TBI developed dementia, compared with 10 percent among those with no history of TBI.
That’s a 60 percent increase in the risk of developing dementia for older Veterans with TBI.
Studies on Older American Veterans with TBI
A new study conducted in 2016 in two American veterans retirement homes looked at 75 vets with previous TBI and 71 without. The veterans with TBI had greater functional impairment and had higher rates of prior depression and substance abuse. Although composite memory and language scores did not differ between the two groups, participants with TBI performed worse on tests of executive functioning/processing speed.
This study suggests that TBI may have adverse long-term neuro-behavioral consequences. American Veterans with TBI may require careful screening and will probably need more aid as they grow older.
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