Up to 3% of global dementia cases are potentially attributable to traumatic brain injury (TBI). People with a TBI could be around 1.5 times more likely to develop dementia.
TBIs can come from many aspects of life – from falls and traffic accidents to recreational sports and even exposure from firearms and military activity. Steps to reduce exposure to TBIs throughout life are an important step in reducing dementia risk.
Taking part in sport and physical activity is important in reducing dementia risk – what’s good for heart health is also good for brain health. The risk of head injury and TBI in some sports must be carefully balanced against the wider benefits of exercise for brain health and healthy life expectancy more broadly.
You can read more about this in our sport and dementia position statement on our website.
Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission.
Ueda et al., Neurodegenerative disease among male elite football (soccer) players in Sweden: a cohort study, Lancet Public Health, 2023.
Li et al., Head Injury as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 32 Observational Studies, PLOS ONE, 2017.