Sep 29, 2023

Cardiovascular Disease Risk May Be Increased by Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A new review published in The Lancet Neurology by researchers at Mass General Brigham presents findings indicating that cardiovascular disease risk may be increased by traumatic brain injury (TBI). The review presented evidence of the long-term associations between TBI and cardiovascular disease noting that post-injury comorbidities, as well as neuroinflammation, and changes in the brain-gut connection may be culprits in the elevated risk compared to the general population.

“Despite decades of extensive traumatic brain-injury-focused research, surprisingly, there has been minimal progress in mitigating long-term outcomes and mortality following injuries. The cardiovascular effects of TBI may be a missing link in advancing our efforts to improve long-term quality of life and reducing mortality rates in TBI patients,” said first author Saef Izzy, MD, of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We have the opportunity to identify and improve targeted screening for high-risk populations, build preventative care strategies and improve outcomes for survivors of TBI.”

While past research has exhibited there is a strong link between TBI and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, decades of research has failed to understand the mechanisms that occur after a TBI that drive these diseases. Izzy and review co-authors now suggest that there may be non-neurological effects of TBI, including cardiovascular, cardiometabolic, and endocrine dysfunction that may act as intermediaries that contribute to neurological disorders that may appear decades later.

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