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Experiencing multiple concussions increases a person’s risk of poor brain function later in life, a new study shows. People who experienced three or more concussions exhibited cognitive deficits that worsened with each subsequent concussion.
Researchers collected self-reported concussion histories from more than 5,700 adults between 50 and 70 years old. They administered cognitive tests to gauge changes in the participants' brain function every year for up to four years.
They found that participants who experienced three mild concussions in their lifetime had difficulty with attention and performing complex tasks later in life. Participants who experienced four mild concussions had difficulty with processing speed and working memory – an aspect of cognitive function that allows a person to remember information for relevant tasks. However, experiencing even one moderate-to-severe concussion impaired the participants' attention and the ability to perform complex tasks and process information.
These findings underscore the risks associated with even mild brain injury. Some evidence suggests that lactate and ketones may be beneficial in treating brain injury. Learn more in this clip featuring Dr. Dominic D'Agostino.
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