Several recent scientific studies have revealed that the link between TBI and Parkinson’s disease may be stronger than we originally thought. According to a study conducted at the University of California, even a mild brain injury can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s by as much as 56 percent. How high the risk becomes depends largely on the severity of the head injury, but the research is clear: once a TBI occurs, there’s a significant change in risk.
If you think that percentage seems high, it will probably seem even more dramatic once you consider the fact that roughly 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI-related disability. Not only are these people leading lives that are drastically impacted by their injuries, but science now shows that some will likely face potential battles with Parkinson’s as they age.
However, neurophysiologists and brain researchers urge the public not to immediately associate TBI with Parkinson’s, simply because the risk remains fairly small in the grand scheme of things. Uninjured people have approximately a 0.2 percent chance of developing the disease, while injured individuals have a slightly higher chance, at 0.3 percent. Therefore, the average person with a TBI is only a bit more likely to develop Parkinson’s.
Still, it’s important for people living with TBI to be aware of all the risks and changes they may experience due to their injury. The more knowledge they are equipped with, the better able they are to seek proper medical attention and emotional support.
That’s where the non-profit organization TryMunity steps in. Their goal is to spread awareness about traumatic brain injuries, provide support to those who have survived them, and create a compassionate online community for those who have been touched by brain injuries. You can join their encouraging information group today by visiting www.trymunity.com.