January 2016 is almost over and with it, so is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada. Alzheimer’s has a particular resonance with us because of the potential linkage between concussions and the development of Alzheimer’s Disease later in life.
The Link Between Concussions and Alzheimer’s Disease
In fact, around this time last year, the Toronto Star published an article about the link between concussions and Alzheimer’s disease, penned by University of Toronto’s Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati.
“Most people associate Alzheimer’s disease with getting older. In my lab, we investigate another factor that hasn’t been as widely discussed as a cause of this devastating neurodegenerative disease: concussion.”
Not a New Area of Study
Though this vein of research is relatively small in comparison to research on genetic links to the disease, it’s by no means a new area of discussion. Research has linked concussions and Alzheimer’s Disease throughout the past 30 years. One study in particular showed that older adults with a history of mTBIs (minor traumatic brain injuries) were 2.3 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those without a history of brain injury.
Always Protect Yourself
Though studies still have not been able to conclusively prove how many people who suffer concussions develop Alzheimer’s, it’s still important to try to protect your brain. Dr. Hazrati also emphasizes the importance of staying fit both physically and mentally, to further protect yourself from the disease.
If you or a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, or if you would like more information about the disease, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is a great place to start.
If you or a loved one have suffered a concussion, it’s a great idea to get treatment to improve recovery time and to reduce the risk for subsequent concussions before your brain has fully healed. Always see a physician if you suspect a concussion, and reach out to MyoWorx for more information on treatment.