How Concussions Cause Dementia
Neuroscience has already established that concussions can trigger the build up of sticky tau protein in the brain that causes the same destructive effects of Alzheimer’s disease. How does this happen? The answer comes from research published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience by Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the University of Rochester Center for Translational Neuromedicine. Dr. Nedergaard says that the brain has its own separate system for waste removal called the glymphatic system which utilizes very fine structures to carry cerebro-spinal fluid bearing waste products away from the brain. These structures are fragile and vulnerable to brain trauma from blows to the head. When they become damaged they stop removing waste products from the brain, including the sticky tau protein that gums up brain cells.