Tuesday March 19, 2019

Small Head Blows Can Also Increase Risk of Dementia

In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked.

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Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Head blows can cause dementia, Pixabay

Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found.

The study, which tracked more than 350,000 participants, showed that the likelihood of dementia more than doubled following concussion.

Concussion without loss of consciousness led to 2.36 times the risk for dementia, showed the findings published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

These risks were slightly elevated for those in the loss-of-consciousness bracket (2.51) and were nearly four times higher (3.77) for those with the more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury.

The researchers identified participants from two databases. The first group included all-era veterans whose traumatic brain injuries could have occurred during civilian or military life.

The second group included veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for whom most of these injuries had occurred in combat zones, such as from shockwaves in blasts.

Even head blows that do not result in loss of consciousness may cause brain changes that increase the risk of dementia, new research has found.
Dementia, Pixabay

“The findings in both groups were similar, indicating that concussions occurring in combat areas were as likely to be linked to dementia as those concussions affecting the general population,” said first author Deborah Barnes, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, US.

In total, 357,558 participants, whose average age was 49, were tracked.

Half had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, of which 54 per cent reported experiencing concussion.

The study followed the participants for an average of 4.2 years.

“There are several mechanisms that may explain the association between traumatic brain injury and dementia,” said senior author and principal investigator Kristine Yaffe, Professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Also Read: Researchers Identified Protein Associated With Breast Cancer

 “There’s something about trauma that may hasten the development of neurodegenerative conditions. One theory is that brain injury induces or accelerates the accumulation of abnormal proteins that lead to neuronal death associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease,” Yaffe said.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

“It’s also possible that trauma leaves the brain more vulnerable to other injuries or ageing processes,” Yaffe said. (IANS)

Next Story

Intake Of Vitamin B Nutrient Can Prevent Babies From Brain Disorders Caused By Cold During Pregnancy

Cold and flu are often unavoidable, even if the mother has had a flu shot. But cold and flu during pregnancy double the risk of future mental illnesses.

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When mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the newborns'  ability to cease or delay the effect on the brain decreased by 27 per cent. Pixabay

Besides flu vaccines, maternal intake of a vitamin B nutrient can prevent babies from brain disorders caused by cold or flu in pregnancy, say researchers.

The study showed that higher levels of choline prevented brain problems and mental illness, like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia, in babies even when the mother had cold or flu during pregnancy.

“Cold and flu are often unavoidable, even if the mother has had a flu shot. But cold and flu during pregnancy double the risk of future mental illnesses. More and more information show choline helps the baby’s brain develop properly,” said Robert Freedman, Professor at the University of Colorado in the US.

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The study showed that higher levels of choline prevented brain problems and mental illness, like attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia, in babies even when the mother had cold or flu during pregnancy. Pixabay

“We found higher levels of choline prevent foetal brain problems from developing, even when the mother is infected. Choline supplements in pregnancy can have a lifelong benefit for the infant,” Freedman said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics, the team assessed prenatal maternal infection, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) — a marker of maternal inflammation — and the mothers’ choline levels.

Brain development before birth was assessed by measuring the baby’s brain waves soon after birth.

baby
Choline supplements in pregnancy can have a lifelong benefit for the infant,” Freedman said.
Pixabay

When mothers had a cold or flu during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the newborns’
ability to cease or delay the effect on the brain decreased by 27 per cent.

Maternal flu also decreased children’s ability to pay attention and play.

Also Read: Study Warns Patients That Now Drugs Contain Inactive Ingredient

However, these effects were prevented if the mother had higher choline levels, the findings showed.

While the body creates some choline on its own and it is also naturally present in certain foods, including liver, red meat and eggs, pregnant women are recommended 450 mg of choline a day to improve babies’ brain development. (IANS)