Head Trauma History and Amyloid in the Brain

Alan R. Jacobs, MD


February 24, 2014

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This is the Medscape Neurology Minute. I am Dr. Alan Jacobs. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have published a population-based study[1] assessing the association of head trauma with in vivo measures of amyloid- and neurodegeneration. Participants aged 70 years and older from Olmsted County, Minnesota, 448 of whom had normal cognition and 141 of whom had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), underwent amyloid PET scans. All participants were asked whether they had ever experienced a brain injury involving any loss of consciousness or memory. Among normal participants, 17% reported a concussion history, as did 18% of those with MCI. There were no differences in the brain scans among normal participants regardless of whether they had a history of concussion. However, participants with MCI and a history of concussion had 18% more amyloid in their brains than those with MCI without any history of concussion or head trauma. The investigators concluded that these findings add weight to the theory that concussion and amyloid build-up in the brain are related, but that the relationship is complex, because it was not seen in the normal, non-MCI group.

This has been the Medscape Neurology Minute. I'm Dr. Alan Jacobs.



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