How Traumatic Brain Injury History Relates to Brain Health MRI Markers and Dementia Risk: Findings from the 3C Dijon Cohort

Leslie Grasset, Melinda C. Power, Fabrice Crivello, Christophe Tzourio, Geneviève Chêne, Carole Dufouil
JAD. 2023-03-07; 92(1): 183-193
DOI: 10.3233/jad-220658

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Background: The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness (LOC) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers of brain health and on dementia risk are still debated.

Objective: To investigate the associations of history of TBI with LOC with incident dementia and neuroimaging markers of brain structure and small vessel disease lesions.

Methods: The analytical sample consisted in 4,144 participants aged 65 and older who were dementia-free at baseline from the Three City –Dijon study. History of TBI with LOC was self-reported at baseline. Clinical Dementia was assessed every two to three years, up to 12 years of follow-up. A subsample of 1,675 participants <80 years old underwent a brain MRI at baseline. We investigated the associations between history of TBI with LOC and 1) incident all cause and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia using illness-death models, and 2) neuroimaging markers at baseline.

Results: At baseline, 8.3% of the participants reported a history of TBI with LOC. In fully-adjusted models, participants with a history of TBI with LOC had no statistically significant differences in dementia risk (HR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.60–1.36) or AD risk (HR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.69–1.52), compared to participants without TBI history. History of TBI with LOC was associated with lower white matter volume (β= –4.58, p = 0.048), but not with other brain volumes, white matter hyperintensities volume, nor covert brain infarct.

Conclusion: This study did not find evidence of an association between history of TBI with LOC and dementia or AD dementia risks over 12-year follow-up, brain atrophy, or markers of small vessel disease.

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