Following a brain injury, many of the worries usually include what will happen tomorrow. Going into my sixth year after the TBI, more long term worries have begun to arise, such as driving, which I have written many posts about (today I drove home from the mall), jobs, living alone, etc.
Most of these worries are still pretty short term as I’m only looking at what will happen to me in the next few years. However, I recently began to worry about what will happen further in the future, especially since my memory is not the strongest it has ever been. If it fails me while I’m in my twenties, what will happen when I get older? There comes an age when our minds just begin to fail us, will a brain injury increase the risk of that?
Sadly, it looks like a study in Denmark has found that “5.3 per cent of participants with dementia had a history of TBI compared with 4.7 per cent of those without the condition.” The research shows that the increased risk of dementia is small, but it still exists. The risk increases from the less severe injuries to the more severe ones and with the amount of injuries suffered.
So, in the end “The study suggests TBI may be associated with an increased risk of dementia.” I haven’t yet found anything about how intensive rehabilitation therapies or anything else I can do to decrease this risk, but I will be looking into that. The increased risk is not 100%, but any amount is scary.