Alzheimer's Matters Blog

Does a Head Injury Increase Your Dementia Risk?

March 20, 2015

Category: Protecting Brain Health



Each year, more than two million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury. These injuries can have an enormous impact on a person’s lifelong health and well-being, and may raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another dementia later in life.

During Brain Injury Awareness Month, we’re shining a spotlight on our support of research into the link between Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury.

  • Linda Van Eldik, PhD, Sanders Brown Center on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the University of Kentucky, is investigating a drug that selectively inhibits the overproduction of disease- and injury-induced inflammation, which researchers believe may be a key contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is using brain imaging technology to assess the accumulation of plaques and tangles—both characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease—in people with a history of concussions. 

  • Experts on childhood concussions have created recommendations (PDF) to improve knowledge surrounding the potential link between childhood head injury and Alzheimer’s disease, and translate that data into actionable guidelines for children, parents, coaches, and policymakers.

With your continued support, we will learn more about the risks associated with brain injuries and develop dementia prevention options.