New research suggest that just one concussion or traumatic brain injury can be enough to cause a person to get Alzheimer’s disease in later years.
Based on research done on mice and post-mortem brain samples from patients with Alzheimer’s, evidence points to even just one injury causing a disruption in the proteins that regulate the enzyme BACE1. After an injury, there is a marked increase in BACE1, which is associated with developing Alzheimer’s. This new information may lead to studies that help prevent that risk or at least slow down or delay the progress of the disease.
According to the author of the study, Kendall Walker, PhD, mild traumatic brain injury is one of the strongest environmental risk factors for Alzheimer’s. A serious TBI might lead to the dysfunction of the brain’s ability to regulate BACE1, which in turn creates elevated levels of amyloid beta. Amyloid beta is the key component of brain plaques, which are associated with senility and Alzheimer’s.
According to the study, after the first two days of injury, proteins GGA1 and GGA3 were reduced while BACE1 was raised. The brains of Alzheimer’s patients also had elevated BACE1 and lowered GGA1 and GGA3.
What that means
When the proteins are normal they help to get rid of BACE1 enzymes, but when they are lowered they cannot get rid of BACE1 quickly enough to prevent damage. GGA1 and GGA3 work together to regulate BACE1 and after injury they are less efficient at doing so, and those levels can remain out of the norm for extended periods of time.
Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and it is the most common cause of dementia.
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
The TBI Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm are currently accepting cases involving brain damage and concussions. Call today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800