Increased risk of dementia following brain injury

As medical research breaks new grounds, it has been established that those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at some point during their life are 24% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.  This holds significant implications for anyone who has received a TBI in the past and highlights the importance of seeking periodic check-ups by neuro-medical specialists through life.[1]

What evidence is there of a link between brain injury and dementia?

Researchers in Denmark used a population-based approach to identify how many people (from a large population set) who had a previous medical history of a TBI had gone on to suffer dementia later in life.  The study found those who suffered a brain injury in their 20’s were 63% more likely to go on to be diagnosed with dementia.  Similarly, people who received a TBI in their 30’s had a 37% chance of having dementia, but for those with a TBI in their 50’s, there was only a 2% chance[2]

If you or a close family member has been diagnosed with dementia, and believe it is due a previous brain injury caused by the negligence of another person or organisation, you may have a case for financial compensation.  Dementia brings with it a greater need for care, especially as the disease advances.  We can help you seek compensation to fund additional care for your loved one.

Who is most at risk of dementia due to brain injury?

Anyone who has suffered a TBI is potentially at higher risk of dementia in their later years.  Sportspeople, whether professional or amateur, have a higher chance of receiving a brain injury, especially if they play contact sports such as boxing.  Multiple head injuries and concussion may lead to ‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy’ (CTE) developing, which has been linked to early on-set dementia.

Statistics show males have the highest overall risk of a brain injury, as do young children, young adults, and those over 60.

How long can it take for dementia to be diagnosed following brain injury?

A Swedish study by Anna Nordström, and Peter Nordström at Umeå University found the risk for dementia was four to six times greater in the year following a brain injury, and while this fell each year, the risk was still significantly higher even after 30 years[3].   At the mid-way point of 15 years after a TBI, the risk of developing dementia was found to be 80% higher than the general population.

Because the gap between brain injury and serious cognitive disease may be measured in decades it can cause difficulties in bringing compensation claims due to the limitation period.  The Limitation Act 1980 states that a claim for personal injury must be made within three years from the date of injury, or the date of knowledge of the injury. 

If you have recently been diagnosed with dementia and believe it may be linked to a previous TBI you may still be eligible to bring a claim, as the ‘date of knowledge’ rule may apply.  This area of law can be complex; therefore it is important you speak to one our specialist personal injury solicitors who will listen to the facts of your case, and confirm if your claim falls within the time period allowed.  Our team understands making a compensation claim for dementia linked to a TBI can be a difficult and stressful time for you and your family, especially if you are unsure whether or not your claim may be time-barred.  Therefore, we work closely with you, providing you with the best legal advice and representation and ensuring you fully understand the process.

Can I claim if I have been diagnosed with dementia due to a brain injury in the past?

You may be able to bring a claim for compensation if it can be proven your brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party, and the brain injury, in the opinion of a medical specialist, has led to your diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. 

To maximise your chance of successfully claiming compensation, it is important you speak to a specialist in personal injury law.  IBB have handled many brain injury claims and therefore understand how best to proceed.  Thanks to our knowledge and experience, it is likely your claim will settle prior to the hearing date.  However, if your case goes to court, we will work with the best personal injury barristers and ensure you receive full support throughout the trial.

Our team understand the emotional impact that having a loved one diagnosed with a cognitive disease, and therefore will provide the utmost support and empathy to family members from the outset.

If we are confident you have a strong claim, we may offer to take on your case on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, explaining in detail what this means.

Our personal injury team at IBB Solicitors have acquired a national reputation for our expertise around brain injury claims and for ensuring a professional, empathetic and friendly approach to all of the cases we handle.  We are recognised by Headway, the country’s leading brain injury charity as specialist solicitors, in handing brain injury claims.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for dementia resulting from a brain injury, please call our office on 0333 123 9099.

 

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43711627

[2] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30065-8/fulltext

[3] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180130152216.htm