What Is Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease in which your brain cells that produce dopamine start to die, which causes you to gradually lose muscle control. No matter your age, Parkinsons can seem like a scary thing, but thankfully, with the right care, the symptoms of Parkinsons can be manageable.
New Evidence Links Traumatic Brain Injury With Parkinsons
A new study finds that traumatic brain injury from a blow to the head, with loss of consciousness, may increase a persons risk of developing Parkinsons disease later in life. The results appear in the July 11 online edition of;JAMA Neurology. The researchers did not find an association between head injury and Alzheimer’s disease.
The neurological effects of head injuries are much in the news, with worry over repeated, relatively mild, concussions among athletes, and with the recent death of boxing great Muhammad Ali, who lived with Parkinson’s disease. This new study, however, focused narrowly on the long-term effects of even one instance of trauma to the head especially injuries involving loss of consciousness among older people more representative of the general population.
Researchers led by Paul K. Crane, M.D., M.P.H., at the University of Washington in Seattle, analyzed self-reported data, collected between 1994 and 2014, from 7,130 people who had enrolled in other studies that gathered data on memory, cognition and aging. On average, study participants were 80 years old at the time of this report, and did not have dementia, PD, or Alzheimers disease when they enrolled in the original studies. Forty percent were men. Brain tissue was examined on autopsy for 1,589 participants, to search for signs of PD and Alzheimers disease.
What Does It Mean?
Concussion Associated With Greater Risk Of Parkinson Disease Dementia
Individuals who had experienced a concussion were found to be at a greater risk of Parkinson disease, mood and anxiety disorders , dementia, and hyperactivity disorder, with concussed women indicated as a notable at-risk population for MADs, according to study findings published today.
Individuals who had experienced a concussion were found to be at a greater risk of Parkinson disease , mood and anxiety disorders , dementia, and hyperactivity disorder, with concussed women indicated as a notable at-risk population for MADs, according to study findings published today in Family Medicine and Community Health.
In recent years, the incidence of concussions has steadily increased, the researchers noted, especially among adolescents. Notably, related effects of concussions have been indicated as dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral metabolism.
While these effects may seem troubling, the clinical recovery from concussions typically occurs within the first week of injury. However, the long-term implications of concussions remain unknown.
In previous research, the study authors highlighted that potential associations with increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , depression, anxiety, dementia, and PD are limited by study design factors such as a reliance on self-reported medical history and the inclusion of all forms of traumatic brain injuries.
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Information On Head Injuries Lifestyle And Sociodemographic Factors
We obtained information on head injuries, other medical history, lifestyle factors, and family history of PD in a structured telephone interview. Because of speaking difficulties or generally poor health, 568 study subjects responded to the questionnaire by mail only. All subjects were asked about all types of head injury before their diagnosis of PD, including head injuries that had caused loss of consciousness, subsequent amnesia, or memory problems, and hospitalization for their head injuries. The questionnaire also elicited information on lifetime tobacco use, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption as well as educational background and family history of PD. A positive family history of PD was defined as having at least one first-degree relative with PD. We used the participants’ home municipality at the date of first hospital contact for PD to assess the degree of urbanization. The date of the first cardinal symptom noted on the medical records was used as the referent date for calculating exposure; controls were assigned the date of their respective case.
Does Head Injury Lead To Parkinsons Disease
According to a;study published in the journal Neurology, a head injury, specifically a mild traumatic brain injury , does in fact lead to an increased risk of PD. The study was conducted using the VAs databases and identified all patients treated by the VA with TBI. The results found that:
- Patients with mild TBI and brief loss of consciousness had a 56% increased risk of developing PD compared to patients without any history of head injury.
- Patients with severe TBI were at an 80% higher risk of PD compared to healthy subjects.
- A single mild TBI with no loss of consciousness did not lead to a significant risk increase for PD.
Although head injury does increase a persons risk of PD, it should be noted that the likelihood of developing the full disease is still relatively low. In fact, in the study, only about 1% of patients were diagnosed with PD.
What is more likely, however, is that a person might develop a form of parkinsonism.
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How Is Parkinsonism Diagnosed
Parkinson’s UK explained: “You should be referred to a Parkinsons specialist for the diagnosis of any parkinsonism.
“They may wish to explore different things before giving you a diagnosis.”
According to the health body, your specialist will look at your medical history, ask you about your symptoms and do a medical examination.
Did Head Trauma Give Muhammad Ali Parkinsons Disease
Experts debate whether head injuries the boxing legend sustained could have caused his Parkinsons disease.
It has been widely argued that the multiple head injuries Muhammad Ali sustained during his boxing career could have caused his Parkinsons disease. In reality, the science behind it is much more nuanced.
Experts theories vary on whether head trauma is linked to the disease.
In short, Parkinsons kills off the neurons in the brain that produce dopamine, which leads to issues with movement.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 1984, three years after he retired. His doctors did not connect the disease to injuries he received from boxing.;
However, the studies are not conclusive since other factors, such as environment or genetics, can also factor in as causes, she said. ;
Chesselet used the example of the pesticide paraquat to further elaborate. Sometimes exposure to paraquat shortly after traumatic brain injuries can increase the chances of developing Parkinsons disease later on in life.
In the case of Ali, people have suspected for a long time that his symptoms may be related to the repeated head injuries he has sustained in his life, but argue whether it is related to Parkinsons disease or not. This will be settled if an autopsy is conducted, Chesselet said.
We believe that boxing could lead to Parkinsons disease, he said.
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Caution Ahead: Linking Concussions To Parkinsons And Dementia
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury . They are generally described as self-limiting and on the less-severe end of the brain injury spectrum. It is estimated that as many as 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. every year during competitive sports and recreational activities. That number may be even higher research shows that upwards of 50 percent of concussions may go unreported. What does a concussion have to do with Parkinsons disease and dementia? Possibly a lot.
Recently published in the journal, Family Medicine and Community Health, a study titled Associations between concussion and risk of diagnosis of psychological and neurological disorders: a retrospective population-based cohort study , sought to investigate whether having experienced a concussion might increase ones risk of being diagnosed with PD and dementia, as well as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Mood and Anxiety disorders later in life.
This is not the first study to connect Parkinsons to concussions. What makes this study different is that it focuses on Parkinsons and the more common mild concussion , sustained from falls or exercise-related injuries. Previously, research has focused on studies comparing PD and concussions known as high-impact TBIs those related to sports injuries or traumatic contact sustained by the head. ;
What Does It Mean
While the CDC considers most TBIs reported annually to be mild, this study found that experiencing a concussion may, in fact, be a substantial risk factor for developing Parkinsons disease and dementia .
Having a single concussion increased the risk of developing PD by 57% and dementia by 72%; and having multiple concussions further increased the risk of developing PD and dementia compared to people who suffered only one concussion. While additional studies are surely warranted, this study suggests that concussions should be taken more seriously by healthcare providers, as there may be unanticipated, long-term neurological effects.
Apdas Chief Scientific Officer Dr Rebecca Gilbert Weighs In On Traumatic Brian Injury A Small But Important Contributor To The Overall Risk Of Parkinsons
On April 18, 2018, a study was published in the journal Neurology and widely disseminated in the popular press, which demonstrated an increased risk of Parkinsons disease after even a mild traumatic brain injury . The study was conducted using the Veterans Heath Administration databases and identified all patients seen at the VA with a diagnosis of TBI. Age-matched controls without TBI were also selected from the database. The patients health information was then followed over time and PD diagnoses in the two groups were tracked:
- Patients who had mild TBI were at 1.5 times the risk of developing PD as compared to the controls.
- Patients with severe TBI, had 1.8 times the risk of developing PD as compared to the controls.
- When the group of patients with the mildest form of TBI those without any loss of consciousness was analyzed separately, the increased risk of PD did not reach statistical significance.
So what are you supposed to do if you have been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and had a TBI in the past? You can certainly tell your doctor, but treatment options for your PD remain the same. Once you have PD, preventing future TBIs makes good sense, with focus on fall prevention, although this is the case for the general population as well. If you had a TBI and do not have PD, but are concerned about your future risk of PD, rest assured that TBI is one small contributor to risk of PD, among many risk factors.
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disease that currently affects about 1 million Americans. Parkinsons disease involves a small, dark-tinged portion of the brain called the substantia nigra. This is where you produce most of the dopamine your brain uses. Dopamine is the chemical messenger that transmits messages between nerves that control muscle movements as well as those involved in the brains pleasure and reward centers. As we age, its normal for cells in the substantia nigra to die. This process happens in most people at a very slow rate.
But for some people, the loss happens rapidly, which is the start of Parkinsons disease. When 50 to 60 percent of the cells are gone, you begin to see the symptoms of Parkinsons.
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Exclusion Of Patients And Controls
We have shown previously that patients with PD start treatment with antiparkinson drugs on average 3 years before their first hospital contact for PD, indicating that the patients have had symptoms of PD before they were in contact with a hospital due to their disease. Thus, in order to further reduce the risk for including patients with PD symptoms due to other neurologic conditions than PD, we excluded 14 interviewed patients and 22 controls who had had a hospital contact for dementia or cerebrovascular disease any time between the start of the Hospital Register in 1977 to 3 years before the index date. We also excluded one case with unknown onset of first symptoms in addition to 108 cases and 102 controls for whom there was no self-reported information on the never/ever question on head injury, resulting in 1,705 cases and 1,785 controls for the analyses.
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Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
If you have slowness on one side of your body, you should see your doctor. This isnt just a symptom of normal aging. However, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease worsen as you age. These symptoms include tremors, stiffness, slow movement, impaired balance, and a shuffling gait. Some patients may feel more stiffness than others. For some, the tremors are more predominant. You may also have a hard time forming facial expressions.
Can Head Trauma Cause Essential Tremor
It seems like nearly every day brings some new health issue to be concerned about. If it isnt mosquito-borne disease, its distracted drivers on their cell phones. Then theres head trauma. This was brought to popular awareness by the movie Concussion, based on a real-life story about the doctor who identified extreme brain damage among NFL football players. He called it chronic traumatic encephalopathy , and it ravages a persons brain. A recent news story told how examination of 111 deceased NFL players brains led to the revelation that 110 of them had CTE.
Its a scary, sobering report, yet the movie did not trigger widespread anxiety among us non-athletic types. After all, who among us has an occupation that involves severe repeated brain-battering like hard-hitting football does?
Its easy, therefore, to not include head trauma on our list of daily anxieties, but in fact traumatic brain injury is more common than we think. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that everyone is at risk, especially children and older adults; in 2013, there were about 2.8 million TBI-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations. The CDC defines TBI as;a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The injury can range from severe to mild, and most concussions are in the moderate-to-mild category.
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Muhammad Ali’s Death: Can Head Injuries Cause Parkinson’s
06 June 2016
Boxing champion Muhammad Ali lived with Parkinson’s disease for three decades before his death on Friday at the age of 74, and many have wondered whether Ali’s boxing career caused him to develop the neurological disorder.
Although it’s likely that frequent head injuries played a role in the boxer’s Parkinson’s disease, certain genes may have also increased his susceptibility to the disease, experts said.
” likely his repeated head injuries contributed to his Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Barbara Changizi, a neurologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who was not involved with Ali’s treatment. But given how young Ali was when he was diagnosed with the disorder the boxer was 42 there’s a “strong chance that genetics played a significant role as well,” Changizi said. The average age of Parkinson’s onset is 60 years old, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
In patients with Parkinson’s disease, the brain cells that produce a chemical called dopamine start to die off. Because dopamine is important for the control of muscle movement, Parkinson’s patients experience symptoms such as tremors, slowed movements and muscle stiffness.
Still, head trauma has also been linked with Parkinson’s disease. In a 2013 review study, researchers found that people with head trauma that resulted in a concussion were 57 percent more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, than people who never experienced such head trauma.
Independance Motivation And Hope
My son Sharat suffered a severe traumatic brain injury 23 years ago leaving him with Aphasia and right sided weakness from his vision,hearing to his limbs. The lockdown in June was a great challenge for him as his caregivers stopped coming, no gym workouts and no outings for a coffee.
Being his mother and primary carer I feared that this was a hotbed for depression. I scoured the net and chanced upon FlintRehab. As there was a trial period it was safe for us to risk getting it across to Auckland.
His OT checked it out and felt that it was ideal. I can honestly second this.
He enjoys working on it and now after three months can do it on his own. His left hand helps his right hand. The FitMi video explains and shows him what to do, it gives him marks and applauds him too!!
He has to use both sides of his brain. The caregivers are OT students who returned enjoy working on it with him.
In three months there motivation built up in him with a drive to use his right hand. There is definitely a slight improvement in his right hand.
This encourages him as well as the caregivers to try harder.His overall mood is upbeat. He enjoys it, so much so, that it doesnt matter if his caregiver is away.
FitMi is a blessing.
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Growing Knowledge About The Causes Of Parkinson’s
Researchers used data previously collected by three large scale cohort studies to look at the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia in people who reported loss of consciousness after a brain injury.
They found that, whilst a link between head injury and Alzheimer’s was not present, one of the three studies study showed a slight increase in risk of Parkinson’s following a severe head injury.
The study add to growing knowledge about the causes of Parkinson’s, which is of vital importance to develop future treatments that can slow, stop or even prevent the condition developing.