Pennsylvania athletes and residents who have suffered concussions and traumatic brain injuries throughout their lives may be interested to learn that these injuries could lead to an increased risk in the development of Alzheimer’s earlier in life. It is still not known how traumatic brain injuries actually contribute to the early development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study analyzed more than 2,100 cases of individuals who had suffered a traumatic brain injury that included a loss of consciousness for at least five minutes. On average, those with brain injuries and a loss of consciousness were diagnosed with dementia 2.5 years earlier than those who had not suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Scientists have speculated that the inflammation of the brain following a brain injury could lead to dementia especially when combined with certain genetics and other risk factors. However, studies that could solve the mystery of how a brain injury could lead to early dementia could take decades to complete. In the meantime, there has been a rise in public concern over just how safe contact sports are, especially for children. However, an expert involved in the study noted that parents should not prevent their children from being involved in sports due to the fear of a concussion.

When a person suffers a brain injury following a sports accident or a car accident, the health complications he or she could experience could span decades. In some cases, complications from a brain injury may not become known until later in life, at which point the complications could have a major impact on that person’s future. A personal injury attorney may work to obtain a settlement that covers the cost of medical care and compensates for future medical care that may be needed. If the other party refuses to settle, the attorney may be able to take the claim to court.