Research Reports - History of mild traumatic brain injury is associated with deficits in relational memory, reduced hippocampal volume, and less neural activity later in life

Front Aging Neurosci. 2013 Aug 22;5:41

Monti JM, Voss MW, Pence A, McAuley E, Kramer AF, Cohen NJ

Evidence suggests that a history of head trauma is associated with memory
deficits later in life. The majority of previous research has focused on
moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), but recent evidence suggests
that even a mild TBI (mTBI) can interact with the aging process and produce
reductions in memory performance. This study examined the association of mTBI
with memory and the brain by comparing young and middle-aged adults who have had
mTBI in their recent (several years ago) and remote (several decades ago) past,
respectively, with control subjects on a face-scene relational memory paradigm
while they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Hippocampal
volumes were also examined from high-resolution structural images. Results
indicated middle-aged adults with a head injury in their remote past had impaired
memory compared to gender, age, and education matched control participants,
consistent with previous results in the study of memory, aging, and TBI. The
present findings extended previous results by demonstrating that these
individuals also had smaller bilateral hippocampi, and had reduced neural
activity during memory performance in cortical regions important for memory
retrieval. These results indicate that a history of mTBI may be one of the many
factors that negatively influence cognitive and brain health in aging.

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