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      Head injury as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease: the evidence 10 years on; a partial replication.

      Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry
      Alzheimer Disease, epidemiology, etiology, Case-Control Studies, Craniocerebral Trauma, complications, Female, Humans, Male, Odds Ratio, Reproducibility of Results, Risk Factors

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          Abstract

          To determine, using a systematic review of case-control studies, whether head injury is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. We sought to replicate the findings of the meta-analysis of Mortimer et al (1991). A predefined inclusion criterion specified case-control studies eligible for inclusion. A comprehensive and systematic search of various electronic databases, up to August 2001, was undertaken. Two independent reviewers screened studies for eligibility. Fifteen case-control studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria, of which seven postdated the study of Mortimer et al. We partially replicated the results of Mortimer et al. The meta-analysis of the seven studies conducted since 1991 did not reach significance. However, analysis of all 15 case-control studies was significant (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.06), indicating an excess history of head injury in those with Alzheimer's disease. The finding of Mortimer et al that head injury is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease only in males was replicated. The excess risk of head injury in those with Alzheimer's disease is only found in males (males: OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.47 to 2.06; females: OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.47). This study provides support for an association between a history of previous head injury and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          12810767
          1738550
          10.1136/jnnp.74.7.857

          Chemistry
          Alzheimer Disease,epidemiology,etiology,Case-Control Studies,Craniocerebral Trauma,complications,Female,Humans,Male,Odds Ratio,Reproducibility of Results,Risk Factors

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