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Mild brain injuries increase Parkinson's risk by over 50 percent

West Virginia readers who suffer concussions or other mild traumatic brain injuries could increase their chances of developing Parkinson's disease by over 55 percent, according to a new study. The study was recently published in the journal Neurology.

Previous studies have shown an association between Parkinson's disease and moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, known as TBIs, but little was known about the possible association between Parkinson's and mild TBIs. To learn more about the link between the two conditions, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center studied the medical records of 325,870 U.S. military veterans.

At the beginning of the study, around 50 percent of the veterans had been treated for either a mild, moderate or severe TBI, but none of them had been diagnosed with either dementia or Parkinson's disease. However, over the 12-year study period, 1,462 of them were diagnosed with Parkinson's. Of those, 949 had suffered a TBI prior to the diagnosis, compared with 513 who had not. Of those who had suffered a TBI, 360 suffered a mild TBI and 543 suffered a moderate or severe TBI. Overall, the study found that any type of TBI increased a patient's risk of developing Parkinson's by 71 percent. Those with moderate to severe TBIs saw their risk increase by 83 percent, while those with mild TBIs saw their risk increase by 56 percent.

As this study demonstrates, traumatic brain injuries can cause a lifetime of serious medical issues. Individuals who suffer a brain injury through no fault of their own may benefit from pursuing a legal claim against the responsible party. A personal injury lawyer might help document the complaint and file the lawsuit in court.

Source: Parkinson's News Today, "Concussions, Other Mild Brain Injuries Raise Parkinson's Risk, Study Reports," Jose Marques Lopes, May 1, 2018

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