Dementia caused by trauma is the third most common form of dementia. The trauma is usually to the head itself. The brain will become damaged during a head trauma incident because it will shake violently when the head shakes violently or hits a hard object and the force of the blow causes the brain to slam into the skull. The bleeding of the brain or even the fluid buildup can cause damage.

Common Traumas

One can fall and hit their head, be in an automobile accident, or even fall from a bicycle. Dementia can be common with certain sports such as boxing or football. Using a helmet when riding a bike is a great way to avoid head trauma. We tend to think that wearing a helmet is just for children; however, there are many adults who get head trauma and dementia from falls from bikes.

So much can happen to the brain to cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. The dementia can be temporary or permanent. Some dementia can go away once the brain is healed. Other times, the dementia or damage never goes back to normal but does get better over time. The brain is able to heal itself but is slow to heal.

Cognitive Impairment or Dementia

Many times we don’t think of dementia when we discuss head trauma. We typically call it ‘cognitive impairment’. The definition of cognitive function is the ability to think clearly, with normal reasoning ability, ability to speak clearly and have thought processes that are normal. For example, the ability to follow a recipe in a cookbook and make a meal requires cognitive ability. Those with head trauma dementia typically have problems remembering things – both long-term and short-term memory may be affected.

Dementia from head trauma is becoming a national problem as more and more people realize head injuries are leading to more cognitive decline or dementia. Researchers are also finding that once previously thought minor head injuries that happen more than once can build up over time and cause dementia symptoms. As we learn more about this type of trauma and the dementia and complications from that dementia, more and more sports teams and coaches are becoming more aware of this type of injury and trying to determine how to alleviate it.

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