Can Brain Aging Be Related to Head Trauma?

According to a new study in the Neurotrauma Research Laboratory in the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, symptoms of brain aging are found to be higher among those who have suffered brain damage in the past. The study furthermore denotes that rapid brain aging is associated to head impacts experienced by individuals even when they were kids. Brain deterioration symptoms include Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementia among the elderly.

A neurologist examines MRI resultsSteven Broglio, the director of the research team, reiterates that head trauma can block neural pathways and stall the natural regeneration of the brain at an early age. Because of this, these individuals tend to have their brains age rapidly compared to persons who did not experience brain trauma in their lives. The study analyzed significant differences in brain activity, electrical responses, and the brain stability of head trauma patients and non-head trauma individuals.

Results show that even after 6 years, people who have suffered brain trauma still experience brain deterioration as the side effect of their brain injuries. This suggests that brain injuries caused by head impacts even during childhood can hasten the aging process of the brain. However, Dr. Broglio points out that this should not cause panic among people who have experienced head traumas in the past as the results are suggestive at most, therefore inconclusive.

The research team further notes that head injuries can be a small factor that affects the deterioration pace of the brain. Other factors that affect brain aging such as lifestyle, diet, alcohol intake among others still hold true. The research continues in the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology on their search for more evidence that links head concussions to faster brain aging.