In addition to the immediate post-injury complications, other long-term problems can develop after a TBI. These include Parkinson's disease and other motor problems, Alzheimer's disease, dementia pugilistica, and post-traumatic dementia.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) - AD is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by dementia, memory loss, and deteriorating cognitive abilities. Recent research suggests an association between head injury in early adulthood and the development of AD later in life; the more severe the head injury, the greater the risk of developing AD. Some evidence indicates that a head injury may interact with other factors to trigger the disease and may hasten the onset of the disease in individuals already at risk. For example, people who have a particular form of the protein apolipoprotein E (apoE4) and suffer a head injury fall into this increased risk category. (ApoE4 is a naturally occurring protein that helps transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.)
Parkinson's disease and other motor problems - Movement disorders as a result of TBI are rare but can occur. Parkinson's disease may develop years after TBI as a result of damage to the basal ganglia. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include tremor or trembling, rigidity or stiffness, slow movement (bradykinesia), inability to move (akinesia), shuffling walk, and stooped posture. Despite many scientific advances in recent years, Parkinson's disease remains a chronic and progressive disorder, meaning that it is incurable and will progress in severity until the end of life. Other movement disorders that may develop after TBI include tremor, ataxia (uncoordinated muscle movements), and myoclonus (shock-like contractions of muscles).
Dementia pugilistica - Also called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, dementia pugilistica primarily affects career boxers. The most common symptoms of the condition are dementia and parkinsonism caused by repetitive blows to the head over a long period of time. Symptoms begin anywhere between 6 and 40 years after the start of a boxing career, with an average onset of about 16 years.
Post-traumatic dementia - The symptoms of post-traumatic dementia are very similar to those of dementia pugilistica, except that post-traumatic dementia is also characterized by long-term memory problems and is caused by a single, severe TBI that results in a coma.
NIH Publication No. 02-2478
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.
All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.
Source: Traumatic Brain Injury: Hope Through Research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
In 2008 I was forced off the road by another distracted driver, and I landed on my motorcycle helmet, skidding 100 feet on my head, on asphalt at about 50 MPH! 2 years later another driver T-boned my van and since have seemingly random headaches in the eye. With 2014 Olympian Bode Miller speaking about the death of his brother YEARS AFTER a brain injury, I wonder if I may die suddenly from the crashes.In 2008 I was forced off the road by another distracted driver, and I landed on my motorcycle helmet, skidding 100 feet on my head, on asphalt at about 50 MPH! 2 years later another driver T-boned my van and since have seemingly random headaches in the eye. With Olympian Bode Miller speaking about the death of his brother YEARS AFTER a brain injury, I wonder if I may die suddenly from the crashes.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
1993 I was in head on car accident I was life flighted to Cleve. Metro they saved my life I was in coma 2 months w/tbi. Now I'm mostly healthy but I don't know if all I feel is normal after a tbi how can I find out long term effects of tbi?