(NEW YORK) -- Concussions and other head traumas might speed up the onset of Alzheimer's-type dementia in older adults with memory problems, according to a new study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. However, study researcher Michelle Mielke from the Mayo Clinic stressed that it "doesn't mean someone with head trauma is [automatically] going to develop Alzheimer's."
In a series or brain scans done on participants 70 and older, people with a concussion history and memory problems known as cognitive impairment had a significantly higher build-up of Alzheimer's disease-associated plaques than those who reported no previous head traumas.
However, Mielke was at a loss to explain why not all people with concussion histories develop dementia-related symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic team also emphasized that there only may be a link between concussions and Alzheimer’s, not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship.
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