Self-reported head injury and risk of late-life impairment and AD pathology in an AD center cohort

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2014;37(5-6):294-306. doi: 10.1159/000355478. Epub 2013 Dec 31.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / pathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / pathology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Markov Chains
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Unconsciousness / epidemiology
  • Unconsciousness / pathology