Concussions Speed Up Alzheimer's Progression

According to a recent study, concussions may accelerate memory loss, mental decline, and brain deterioration in people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, researchers discovered that concussions reduce cortical thickness in areas of the brain that are first affected by Alzheimer's. This study did not, however, show that concussions increase Alzheimer's risk.

The study involved 160 U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who had sustained head trauma. The average age of the study participants was 32. The goal of researchers was to determine the effects of concussions on neurological disease like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

By learning more about how concussions affect brain disease progression, researchers may be able to develop new treatments that target those mechanisms and delay disease onset.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

Sourced from: U.S. News & World Report