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TBI 'may initiate Alzheimer's'

TBI 'may initiate Alzheimer's'
19th July 2011

Experiencing a single traumatic brain injury could set off an Alzheimer's-like neurodegeneration, research has indicated.

Co-senior author Douglas Smith, of the University of Pennsylvania, said the results emphasise the seriousness of a single traumatic brain injury both in the long and short term.

Years after a single traumatic brain injury, researchers found both tau tangles and amyloid-beta plaques - Alzheimer's hallmarks - in the brains of survivors.

This suggests that an Alzheimer's-like process may be initiated or accelerated following a single traumatic brain injury.

 "Plaques and tangles are appearing abnormally early in life, apparently initiated or accelerated by a single TBI," confirmed Mr Smith.

In other news, a study conducted at Loyola University Health System has indicated that former sportspeople could be at an elevated risk of mild cognitive impairment.

A group of NFL football players with an average age of 61 were assessed, and it was revealed that 35 per cent of players had possible mild cognitive impairment - a potential precursor to Alzheimer's disease.

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