Traumatic Brain Injury Doubles Risk of Dementia

New research shows that older war vets who suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) during their lives had more than two times the risk of developing dementia.

“A diagnosis of a concussion, post-concussion syndrome, a skull fracture or some non-specific head injuries are considered TBIs,” the lead researcher said.

The risk of dementia in those with a TBI diagnosis was 15% compared with almost 7% in those who had never had a TBI.

So that is the bad news.  The good news is that we, at the Amen Clinic,  have found ways to help improve and repair a brain damaged by concussion and TBI.

About 1.7 million people experience a TBI each year due mostly to accidents and falls. TBI also is referred to as the “signature wound” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where TBI accounts for 22% of casualties overall and 59% of blast-related injuries,

This is one of the many reasons that I felt compelled to do a study on retired NFL players, the effects of  their multiple concussions  and particularly, how we can help them improve their odds at reducing their risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s.

If you or someone you love has suffered from any sort of traumatic brain injury, even a concussion, it is especially important to do all you can to reduce your risks for cognitive decline, starting now.

Here are some our recommendations we gave to our NFL retirees  that often resulted in significantly improved brain scans.

1. Stop doing anything that hurts your brain.  This would include smoking, eating junk food, taking drugs or engaging in behaviors that put you at risk for more brain damage, such as snowboarding without a helmet.

2.  Focus your energies on brain smart activities, such as a healthy diet, great exercise, new learning, developing a community of healthy people.  Walking for 30 minutes a day can cut your risk of Alzheimer’s in half!

3. Lose weight if needed, because as your weight goes up, your brain volume shrinks. Not good.

4. Take simple supplements daily to make sure you get the nutrients you need.  I recommend all of my patients take a multiple vitamin, fish oil, and know and optimize their vitamin D level.

5. If damage has occurred consider brain enhancing supplements, such as:

  • gingko and vinpocetine to enhance blood flow,
  • acetyl-l-carnitine and huperzine A to boost the neurotransmitter acetylcholine,
  • phosphatidylseine to help nerve cell membranes, and
  • n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and alpha lipoic acid as anti-oxidants

I put this group of supplements together in our Brain and Memory Power Boost, which we used with our retired NFL players.  But to be clear, we used this supplement together with the whole program, which is the smartest way to use an supplementation.

6. Consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy  to enhance blood flow to the brain if there has been trauma. You can learn more about HBOT at www.hbot.com.

7. Consider neurofeedback to help stabilize nerve cell firing patterns in the brain.

Amen Clinics

Amen Clinics

The Amen Clinics Method—developed through 26 years of clinical practice—uses a detailed clinical history, SPECT imaging to understand brain function, neuropsychological testing and laboratory studies to target treatment specifically to your brain using the least toxic, most effective means. If you are interested in learning more or to schedule an appointment, contact the Amen Clinics Care Center today at 855-628-3989 or contact us here.
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