Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are among the most catastrophic workplace injuries that an employee can suffer. These often result from struck-by incidents, such as a tool falling from one construction worker’s hands onto another’s down below.
There are varying degrees of TBIs that a worker may experience, some that seem to be more recoverable than others. Recent research shows that while the more easily recognizable TBI symptoms may dissipate over time for some injured workers, they may creep back up in the future when they least expect them to do so. There’s increasing evidence that a head injury may give way to early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Which types of head injuries are likely to result in early-onset memory disorders?
One physician at the Mayo Clinic noted that individuals who suffer from more severe head injuries had a stronger likelihood of receiving an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis than others. The researcher noted that this was particularly likely if the injury occurred when someone was 55 or older.
The Mayo Clinic physician also pointed out that repetitive head injuries, even if they’re relatively minor, can also cause patients to develop cognitive disorders, such as reasoning or thinking ones, not all that different from early Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms.
Some individuals have genetic mutations, such as apolipoprotein E (APOE), predisposing them to develop certain memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Any instances in which these individuals suffer head injuries only increase their risk of receiving early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Why should you notify your employer of any head injuries you suffer on the job?
Many employees make the mistake of not seeking medical care after suffering what they perceive as a relatively mild head injury. Some even choose not to report such incidents to their employers. This is a bad mistake.
It’s always best to seek medical attention even if you think everything is okay with you. Delaying treatment could leave you with irreversible damage. You should report any injuries to your employer, even if you don’t plan to seek immediate medical care, as you might experience delayed impairments down the road. Doing so will pave the way for you to potentially recover compensation if further medical diagnoses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s happen in the future.