Adding to a growing volume of literature on this topic, Montreal researchers published a study in January, 2021 demonstrating that a single mild traumatic brain injury involving late adulthood patients (ages 50-70) leads to subtle, long-term cognitive consequences.
The article, authored by Camille Larson-Dupuis et. al., entitled Subtle long-term cognitive effects of a single mild traumatic brain injury and the impact of a three-month aerobic exercise intervention, was published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (2021 January: 61(1): 87-95). What makes these findings particularly significant is that all participants in the study were exempt from confounding factors sometimes associated with long-term consequences. All participants:
- had negative scans
- were symptom-free within three months of their accident (including depression and anxiety)
- did not present with chronic conditions known as risk factors for cognitive decline (uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease)
- were all well-educated
Cognitive declines, compared to a control group, were noted two to seven years post-accident in attention, processing speed, executive functioning and memory.
The study also tested the hypothesis that a 12-week aerobic exercise program would lead to cognitive improvements in the TBI group. The data did not support this hypothesis.