image symbolizing dementiaOn May 7th, a revolutionary study in the world of veterans’ health was published in the JAMA Neurology journal. It revealed that all Traumatic Brain Injuries (“TBIs”), even mild TBIs, have a strong correlation with dementia.

17% of Women and Men Who Served in Iraq and Afghanistan Had At Least One Mild TBI

TBIs are all too common among veterans. In fact, 17% of the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan report that they have experienced at least one mild TBI in the field, many of which were attributed to “shockwaves from blasts.” Therefore, understanding the long-term effects of TBIs is critical.

Past Research Focused on Moderate to Severe TBIs

Past research has established that moderate and severe TBIs are correlated with dementia, however studies of the correlation between mild TBIs and dementia have been inconclusive – at least until now.

San Francisco Based Research Team Conducts Groundbreaking New Study

The San Francisco Veterans Affairs’ Health Care System teamed with UC San Francisco to conduct a large-scale study on the correlation between mild, moderate, and severe TBIs and dementia.

The study followed over 350,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan over 4.2 years. Of those veterans, 178,779 had been diagnosed with a TBI between 2001 and 2014. The others had no history of TBI and served as a control group. TBI diagnoses were categorized as mild without a loss of consciousness, mild with a loss of consciousness of up to 30 minutes, TBI with no recorded state of consciousness, moderate, or severe.

Study Reveals that Veterans with TBIs are 2.36 to Four Times More Likely to Develop Dementia

The results of the study indicate that veterans who experienced a mild TBI without loss of consciousness were “2.36 times more likely to develop dementia than those in the control group.” The likelihood of developing dementia increased as the severity of the TBI increased. Veterans who experienced a mild TBI with loss of consciousness were 2.56 time more likely, those who experienced a mild TBI with no recorded state of consciousness were 3.19 times more likely, and those who experienced a moderate or severe TBI were roughly four times more likely to develop dementia.

Many Veterans with TBIs are Eligible for Disability Benefits

If you are a veteran and you experience dementia or any other cognitive, emotional, behavioral, or physical symptoms because of an in-service TBI, we encourage you to apply for disability benefits right away. If you apply, or if you have already applied, and the VA wrongly denies your claim or assigns you an unacceptable rating decision, don’t worry – we are here to help.

With decades of experience winning benefits for veterans, including those with symptoms related to an in-service TBI, we are confident we can win you the benefits you deserve. Once you receive your initial decision from the VA, send us a note or give us a call at (877) 629-1712 to discuss the possibility of an appeal.

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