Your risk of falling increases as you age for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a fall that you take results in a mild traumatic brain injury that can have a significant impact later.
According to AARP, here is some information about the connection between a mild TBI and Parkinson’s disease.
What defines a mild TBI?
There are different ways that you can get a traumatic brain injury, such as from a fall, combat injury, car accident, assault or sports injury. These injuries occur in different degrees of severity. The definition of a mild TBI is one where you lose consciousness for 30 minutes or less.
What is the link between a mild TBI and Parkinson’s disease?
For some time, researchers have made a definitive link between suffering a brain injury and developing Parkinson’s later. However, new research shows that even a mild TBI increases chances of acquiring this disease by 56%. Moderate to severe TBIs carry an 83% higher risk of Parkinson’s.
This data shows the need to do as much as possible to prevent any kind of a TBI, no matter how mild. For seniors, the main cause of TBIs is from falls. Another main source is driving accidents.
What is the best way to prevent a mild TBI?
In addition to falls assessments and driving assessments, ways in which you can prevent TBIs include:
- Engaging in physical activity that includes balance exercises
- Surveying your living space for clutter on the floor and removing any impediments
- Adding lighting to your home for better visual acuity
- Wearing sensible, properly fitting shoes and slippers with nonskid soles
Experts also recommend using assistive devices such as a cane or walker, grab bars in the tub and toilet, nonslip treads on steps and handrails on both sides of stairs.