euronews science - Alzheimer's studied in veteran US soldiers

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science A study of american soldiers has concluded that a knock on the head makes a person more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease later in life The walter Reed Army Medical center looked into two hundred and fifty thousand people’s medical histories Doctor kristine Yaffe’s team found out what happened to them We looked at veterans who were fifty-five or older and we determined who had had a history of traumatic brain injury And then we followed them for seven years to see who developed dementia And what we found was that veterans that had a history of TBI had approximately a twofold greater two times increase chance of developing dementia over our study The findings were discussed at the Alzheimer’s association International Conference this month held in Paris others are looking for more evidence before redrawing their conclusions about brain degeneration Doctor Laurie ryan manages Alzheimer’s clinical trials with the US national Institutes of Health It’s a very interesting a study and a good first start looking at the medical records but being retrospective in nature uhm we have to rely on what got put into the hospital records And often milder injuries do not get noted in the hospital records people may not even go to the hospital for a mild injury a concussion and so it’s probably not the whole picture what we need is studies going forward looking at individuals when they get injured and following them over time and those studies are actually people are looking to doing those now some experts say Alzheimer’s could reach epidemic proportions that a hundred and six million people may suffer from it by 2050 with heavy family and social strains Other factors which seem to play a role include smoking obesity depression diabetes and blood pressure also low educational achievement