On TReND: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and the Contentious Reimagining of Alzheimer Disease-Related Dementias as Environmental Diseases
Dr Gregory Hollin
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
There is increasing recognition that brain injuries (as experienced, for example, as a result of sport, military service, physical violence, falls, or car accidents) may result in a number of Alzheimer's-like dementias. Depicting these dementias, usually understood as genetic conditions, as having environmental causes has the potential to change the way scientists and medics classify, diagnosis, and treat various dementias. There may also be new attempts to regulate behaviours understood to cause brain injury by, for example, banning or limiting certain risky practices. This project investigates the ethical, social, and legal implications of these emerging medical sciences and compares how researchers in three very different disciplines (molecular neuroscience, neuropathology, and sports science) understand the role that the environment plays in dementia. The findings of the project will be critical for comprehending the societal implications of these emerging understandings of dementia and the challenges and opportunities afforded by them.