Past brain injury may be linked to an increased risk of FTD: Study

FTD spectrum disorders have, depending on the subtype, major effects on behaviour, linguistic functions and cognitive processing.
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Representative ImageANI

KUOPIO [Finland]: According to a study by the University of Eastern Finland, past traumatic brain damage may increase the risk of frontotemporal dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is one of the most common causes of dementia in working-age people. FTD spectrum disorders have, depending on the subtype, major effects on behaviour, linguistic functions and cognitive processing.

Many genetic mutations have been implicated as contributing to these disorders, but their non-genetic and thus potentially preventable risk factors remain unknown and scarcely studied.

According to a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland, previous traumatic brain injury may increase the risk of FTD, especially in patients who did not carry a causal genetic mutation.

In addition, patients who had suffered a head injury appeared, on average, to develop FTD earlier than others. The researchers compared Finnish FTD patients with patients with Alzheimer's disease, and with healthy controls. The findings were reported in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

"The results of this study suggest that traumatic brain injury may be a triggering factor for the neurodegenerative processes in FTD. However, clarifying the precise underlying mechanisms still needs further studies," said Doctoral researcher and lead author of the article, Helmi Soppela, of the University of Eastern Finland.

The study was conducted by Adjunct Professor Eino Solje's research group, as part of the FinFTD consortium. The partners in the study were the University of Oulu and the University of Brescia.

The study was conducted with support from the Academy of Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Finnish Brain Foundation, Orion Research Foundation, Instrumentarium Science Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, and Maire Taponen Foundation.

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