Suffering even a mild concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury may be associated with nearly 60 percent increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study.
Parkinson's is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system.
The study showed that people with any kind of traumatic brain injury had a 71 percent increased risk of Parkinson's disease while those with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury had an 83 percent increased risk.
People with mild traumatic brain injury showed a 56 percent increased risk.
"The study highlights the importance of concussion prevention, long-term follow-up of those with concussion, and the need for future studies to investigate if there are other risk factors for Parkinson's disease that can be modified after someone has a concussion," said lead author Raquel C. Gardner, from the University of California - San Francisco.
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury was defined as a loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes, alteration of consciousness for more than 24 hours or amnesia for more than 24 hours.
Mild traumatic brain injury was defined as loss of consciousness for zero to 30 minutes, alteration of consciousness of a moment to 24 hours or amnesia for zero to 24 hours.
The researchers also found that those with any form of traumatic brain injury were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease an average of two years earlier than those without traumatic brain injury.
For the study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers identified 325,870 participants from the US who ranged in the age group of 31 to 65 and were followed for an average of 4.6 years.