Traumatic Brain Injury in the Elderly: Is it as Bad as we Think?

Curr Transl Geriatr Exp Gerontol Rep. 2012 Jul 6;1(3):171-178. doi: 10.1007/s13670-012-0017-2. eCollection 2012.


Traumatic brain injury in elderly patients is a neglected global disease burden. The main cause is fall, followed by motor vehicle accidents. This review article summarizes different aspects of geriatric traumatic brain injury, including epidemiology, pathology, and effects of comorbidities and pre-injury medications such as antiplatelets and anticoagulants. Functional outcome with or without surgical intervention, cognitive outcome, and psychiatric complications are discussed. Animal models are also reviewed in attempt to explain the relationship of aging and outcome, together with advances in stem cell research. Though elderly people in general did fare worse after traumatic brain injury, certain "younger elderly" people, aged 65-75 years, could have a comparable outcome to younger adults after minor to moderate head injury.

Keywords: Aging; Animal studies; Anticoagulation; Antiplatelet; Aspirin; Clopidogrel; Cognitive; Craniotomy; Decompressive craniectomy; Drugs; Elderly; Epidemiology; Geriatric; Outcome; Review; Stem cell; Traumatic brain injury; Warfarin.

Publication types

  • Review