Dementia from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • Chronic traumatic brain injury is associated with boxing. Although many boxers will develop mild neurocognitive deficits, it is not yet known how many of these mild presentations progress to diagnosable dementia pugilistica.
  • Remote head trauma has been identified in some studies as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, particularly if associated with the loss of consciousness.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Movement disorder
  • Ataxia
  • Cognitive changes
  • Personality change
  • Patients perform poorly on neuropsychological tests, are frequently aggressive, and undergo a progressive social decline

Tips for First Responders:

  • Turn off lights and sirens as soon as possible
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Use "adult" words, but ask questions one at a time, rather than asking multiple part questions
  • Ask the individual if s/he wears a medic alert device (this may tell you  where they live)
  • Maintain a calm manner; this may help the individual to calm down if s/he is anxious

Source: National Institute on Neurological Disorders & Stroke, Make the Connection "Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury," U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs