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Study shows link between TBI and long-term disability, dementia

People can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) for a variety of reasons, including car crashes, sporting accidents, falls from heights and more. In fact, TBIs are a leading cause of long-term disability in our country. In fact, in 2013, over 2.5 million people in the U.S. sought emergency room care or were hospitalized for a TBI.

TBIs can be disabling for a number of reasons. A TBI can impair one's thought processes, making it difficult to remember things. It could also affect a person's ability to function emotionally. Even more concerning is a recent study that suggests TBIs could also increase the chance that the victim might one day develop dementia.

According to the study, for as many as 30 years or more after a person suffers a TBI, the risk that they could develop dementia goes up 25 percent. Having more than one TBI or suffering from a severe TBI could also cause the chances that the victim could develop dementia to go up. That being said, while the study emphasizes the association that TBIs have with dementia, it doesn't prove exclusively that TBIs directly cause dementia. This is an area that needs further research.

Since TBIs are a major cause of long-term disabilities, it is important for people to understand the effects a TBI will have on them. While no one can anticipate being injured in an accident, for those who have long-term disability insurance, the costs associated with a TBI can be more easily handled. Of course, just because a person suffers a TBI and has long-term disability insurance doesn't mean they'll automatically receive benefits. They must qualify for them per the terms of their disability policy. If a person filed a claim for benefits due to a TBI, and that claim was denied, they may have the option to appeal the denied claim. Fortunately, professionals are available to help those who find themselves in such situations, so they can pursue the benefits they need.

Source: ABC News, "Traumatic brain injury linked to increased dementia risk: Report," Christy Duan, MD, Jan. 31, 2018

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