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Ray Mattison
Ray Mattison
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Brain Injuries Lead to Mental Decline as Patients Age

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A growing body of evidence indicates that people who suffer traumatic brain injuries can develop dementia like symptoms in later life.  In a study published in the online journal Brain, a study of Vietnam Veterans which has been ongoing since 1967 found that brain injuries suffered by young soldiers was associated with a decline in intelligence and cognition in later life.  The study compared injured veterans with those who were uninjured and found marked declines in functioning in those who suffered a brain injury in earlier life.  The article also found that genetic differences played a surprising role in those who developed these symptoms.   The more intelligent the veteran, the less the decline, a finding which matches other studies that the mentally active develop dementia later in life than those who are not.  Nearly two thirds of US soldiers injured in Iraq and sent to the Army medical center have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, according to Dr. Jordan Grafman, one of the authors of the study.