A diagnosis of traumatic brain injury – whether mild, moderate or severe – is associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease and a two-year younger age at diagnosis, says new veteran research.
The size of the risk was dependent on the severity of the injury. After a mild injury, commonly called concussion, the increased risk was 56%, but moderate to severe injury increased the risk by 83%, according to the study published Wednesday in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, has been published. 19659002] Parkinson's disease, an incurable neurological disorder, can cause tremors, stiffness, and difficulty in balancing, walking, and coordinating the movements of your body.
"With the size of the study, this really provides the highest evidence for even a mild TBI increases the risk for Parkinson's disease," said lead author Dr. Raquel C. Gardner, a neurologist and assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco. She added that "up to 40% of adults have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury."
A concussion or mild traumatic brain injury affects an estimated 42 million people worldwide each year. A recent study suggests that concussion is a growing problem in the elderly.
For the new study, the researchers defined a concussion as loss of consciousness from zero to 30 minutes, change of consciousness for a moment to 24 hours, or amnesia for zero to 24 hours. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury has been defined as loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes, altered consciousness for more than 24 hours, or amnesia for more than 24 hours.
Following a search of the US Veterans Health Administration databases, researchers focused on 325,870 veterans aged 31 to 65 years. At the beginning of the study, no one had Parkinson's disease or dementia, although half was diagnosed with mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury.
Next, the researchers tracked the veterans to assess the risk of Parkinson's disease.
A total of 1,462 Parkinson's patients were diagnosed within 12 years of starting the study. Among these 949 (or 0.58% of all participants) a traumatic brain injury was diagnosed, while 513 (0.31%) had no history of it.
After considering age, health status, and other factors, the researchers found that veterans with traumatic brain injury had a 71% increased risk of Parkinson's disease, 83% in patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, and slightly more traumatic patients Brain injury by 56%] Parkinson's disease was diagnosed two years earlier in veterans with traumatic brain injury compared to patients with unaffected disease.
Low Overall Risk
Anthony P. Kontos, Research Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center sports medical concussion program, said the large number of participants was a strength of the new study. However, he noted that "much (post-traumatic stress disorder) in this population was probably not" that could also apply to alcohol consumption and other factors that could increase the risk of Parkinson's, "he said.
" Studies as these are often misinterpreted I suggest that all military veterans with TBI exposure are condemned to Parkinson's disease or other long-term negative illnesses, "said Kontos, who was not involved in the research.
But that's not correct few of the veterans, whether they had a traumatic brain injury or not, had Parkinson's disease: "not more than three quarters of 1%," he said.
In fact, only 360 out of 76,297 veterans in the one study, at who was diagnosed with a mild craniocerebral injury developed Parkinson's disease, and 543 out of 72,592 veterans who were once diagnosed with moderate to severe injury that developed the disease.
"While all military veterans seek and should be aware of adequate care for TBI. They should not believe that they are nothing and that all have the same results, as reported in the current study, "said Kontos.
Overall, the findings add to the argument of "timely identification, assessment" and treatment "even of mild brain injury in military veterans, while emphasizing the need for better care and funding for the research of this common injury among this high-risk population," he said
Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and controlling medical conditions are the best way to ward off any neurodegenerative disease, Gardner said.
"If someone is worried," she said, "a little better, to live healthier. "