Is there a link between Alzheimer’s and brain injuries?

The onset of Alzheimer’s can be an extremely harrowing experience, for both the person suffering as well as beloved friends and family. If you’ve suffered a significant brain injury in California, you may be concerned about the link between head injuries and this devastating condition. The Mayo Clinic offers some insight into the supposed link, including which type of injuries are most likely to play a role in problems later on.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by a degradation of vital cognitive and memory functions. Because the disease is progressive, symptoms can start out relatively benign (such as trouble remembering and minimal confusion) and eventually become more severe, although this may not always be the case. While not all brain injuries entail long-term complications, some of the effects can mimic those seen in people afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Not everyone who experiences serious head injuries goes on to develop Alzheimer’s. It is usually a combination of risk factors (for example, if you are a carrier of the apolipoprotein E gene) that increases your chance of being afflicted by the disease later in life. However, certain injuries may have potential links to the illness, especially when combined with other types of risks.

Repeated head trauma often affects your ability to reason and retain memories, which is illustrated by recent reports of professional football players experiencing dementia-like symptoms after years on the field. If you experience a head trauma that renders you unconscious for more than 24 hours, your chance of developing Alzheimer’s can also increase. Because a conclusive link between head injuries and Alzheimer’s has yet to be found, many medical professionals are calling for further research into the matter.