Aims: To evaluate the relationship between self-reported head injury and cognitive impairment, dementia, mortality, and Alzheimer's disease (AD)-type pathological changes. Methods: Clinical and neuropathological data from participants enrolled in a longitudinal study of aging and cognition (n = 649) were analyzed to assess the chronic effects of self-reported head injury. Results: The effect of self-reported head injury on the clinical state depended on the age at assessment: for a 1-year increase in age, the OR for the transition to clinical mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the next visit for participants with a history of head injury was 1.21 and 1.34 for the transition from MCI to dementia. Without respect to age, head injury increased the odds of mortality (OR = 1.54). Moreover, it increased the odds of a pathological diagnosis of AD for men (OR = 1.47) but not women (OR = 1.18). Men with a head injury had higher mean amyloid plaque counts in the neocortex and entorhinal cortex than men without. Conclusions: Self-reported head injury is associated with earlier onset, increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, increased risk of mortality, and AD-type pathological changes.
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This work was supported by grants to the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging from the National Institute on Aging (grant No. R01 AG038651, R01 AG019241, and P30 AG028383), as well as a grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to the University of Kentucky's Center for Clinical and Translational Science (grant No. UL1TR000117).
Abner, Erin L.; Nelson, Peter T.; Schmitt, Frederick A.; Browning, Steven R.; Fardo, David W.; Wan, Lijie; Jicha, Gregory A.; Cooper, Gregory E.; Smith, Charles D.; Caban-Holt, Allison M.; Van Eldik, Linda J.; and Kryscio, Richard J., "Self-Reported Head Injury and Risk of Late-Life Impairment and AD Pathology in an AD Center Cohort" (2014). Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Faculty Publications. 89.