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One Concussion Could Increase A Person's Chance Of Getting Parkinson's Disease to 56 Percent

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A new study shows that if one has received at least one mild concussion, the person has a 56 percent chance of getting Parkinson's Disease.

The study was conducted on 300,000 US Veterans who have suffered from some sort of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, this new study has raised more questions than answers.

Can TBI Lead To Parkinson's Disease?

TBI has been described as a violent blow to the head. Objects that penetrate the brain tissue can also lead to TBI.

TBI usually results in bleeding, bruising, or other severe physical damage to the brain that can lead to permanent damages or death. There is also mild traumatic brain injury, which can lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigues, or nausea. 

Parkinson's disease is a long-term disorder of the central nervous system that affects the person's ability to walk and move their body parts. Side effects of Parkinson's disease mainly include shaking and slowness of moving. 

Study author Dr. Raquel Gardner stated that though the results suggest that a person may suffer from sort of head injury, there's no guarantee that person will get Parkinson's disease. She also brought up that the veterans who were tested in the study did not develop the degenerative neurological disorder. She added that results are still something to be "concerned" about. 

"Upwards of 40 percent of adults have had a traumatic brain injury [concussion], so these findings are definitely concerning," Gardner stated

Dr. Rachel Dolhun, who is the vice president of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, also disputed the study's findings by stating that the odds are still slim in a person getting Parkinson's disease from TBI.

"Having a TBI doesn't definitively equate with getting Parkinson's disease. The risk is still pretty small," Dolhun stated.

Parkinson's Disease Awareness 

Though the results can be argued, it has given a new thought for experts on the disorder and for those who have suffered from Parkinson's disease and a TBI. The late boxing legend Muhammad Ali showed signs of Parkinson's disease when he was 38 years. He was officially diagnosed with it at the age of 42.

Ali teamed up with actor Michael J. Fox, who was also diagnosed with the disease at the age of 29, to raise awareness for it and to find a cure. Ali also worked with Fox's foundation and would donate to it consistently. 

While there hasn't been a cure developed to combat this disease, researchers suggest that a healthy diet and lifestyle is one way to prevent getting the degenerative disease.

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