Brain injuries can cause long-term damage. Highlighting the threat of long-term damage, a new study found that serious head injuries can cause the brain to prematurely age. 

The researchers studied individuals who had traumatic brain injuries after an auto accident, assaults or falls. They reported that these individuals had “persistent neurological problems” even decades after the injury happened. The researchers scanned the individuals’ brains a month after the injury and 46 years later. Their scans were then compared to individuals who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. 

Studies have already found that head injuries can increase the risk of dementia and other brain conditions that typically impact older individuals. 

This study found that people with traumatic brain injuries had a brain that appeared five years older than they actually were. They concluded that traumatic brain injuries can cause brains to age faster, leading to brain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s at an earlier age. 

Age-related brain conditions can significantly alter a person’s life. This study highlights the serious complications of suffering a traumatic brain injury, and the importance of getting proper medical care. 

Patients and doctors should be aware of the risks of traumatic brain injuries, including the long-term effects of the injury. Victims of car accidents who suffer a traumatic brain injury should make sure their long-term care needs are addressed if they pursue legal action against the party responsible for their injury.

Dementia and other brain conditions can be difficult and costly to treat. It is important to work with an attorney who understands the impact of your injuries and knows what steps to take to protect your future. 

Source: HealthDay News, “Head Injuries May Prematurely Age the Brain, Study Suggests,” April 1, 2015