Mild brain injuries can have lasting impacts on consumers’ brain function: Study

*Traumatic brain injury develops when consumers incur multiple head injuries, and those experiencing it have greatest risk of long-term health threats ─Researchers

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Researchers from the University of Virginia, United States (US), in a new study have found that mild brain injuries can greatly affect consumers’ brain health and function over the long-term.

In the study, the team found that risk for such brain damage, which can affect memory or increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions, was heightened for those who have suffered several brain injuries.

John Lukens, PhD, one of the researchers said: “If you have a pre-existing kink in the pipes and you get hit in the head, then everything is taken to a higher level ─the impacts on the memory, the neuroinflammation.

“There are a lot of implications to it.”
In protecting brain health, the researchers conducted their study on mice to determine how brain health is affected by head injuries.

ConsumerConnect learnt the researchers’’ work revealed that when head injuries are not properly healed, the brain swells.

For the mice, such swelling lasted up to two weeks; however, when thinking of the life spans of mice versus those of humans, this outcome can lead to long-term brain issues.

The study’s findings further reveal that not only is the swelling cause for concern, but the researchers explained that there are several other risks associated with head injuries.

Cognitive decline in old age is more likely, as is the general risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s, and overall issues with memory.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a condition that develops when consumers incur multiple head injuries, and those who experience it have the greatest risk of long-term health risks.

Researcher Ashley C. Bolte stated: “We know that traumatic brain injury carries an increased risk for a bunch of long-term issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

“And this has really been made extra public because of the NFL.

“Then, there’s also anxiety, depression, suicide. The reasons why TBI results in increased risk for this isn’t totally known, and we think that our findings might provide a mechanism as to why.”

According to the researchers, when it comes to brain injuries, healing time is significant.

They explained that this could be the trickiest part, especially when athletes are involved, because most head injury patients want to get back to their regular routine as quickly as possible.

However, this fresh study emphasises the importance of prioritising healing time, as it could be the best way to avoid future complications.

Dr. Lukens stressed “this provides some of the best evidence yet that if you haven’t recovered from a brain injury and you get hit in the head again, you’re going to have even more severe consequences.

“This reinforces that you have to give people an opportunity to heal.

“And if you don’t, you’re putting yourself at a much higher risk for long-term consequences that you might not see in a year but could see in a couple of decades.”

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