The Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury And Parkinson’s Disease

Our attorneys understand the long-term effects of head injury

After representing victims of traumatic brain injury for decades, our attorneys have seen firsthand just how devastating the long-term effects of an injury to the head or brain can be. Recent research has shown that one of those long-term effects can be an increased risk of certain degenerative conditions, including Parkinson's disease.

One study published in Medscape found a strong association between concussions, TBI resulting in unconsciousness, and Parkinson's disease among a population of hundreds of Canadian patients. Another study, conducted by scientists at UCLA, showed that a moderate traumatic brain injury can cause the loss of a type of neuron that increases the risk of developing Parkinson's later in life. In each case, the medical literature indicates that after a brain injury resulting in loss of consciousness, the risk of developing Parkinson's is elevated - even if the injured person has few other symptoms in the short term.

Significantly, Parkinson's symptoms may not appear for many years after the brain injury itself. This makes the medical and legal implications for victims quite complex and subject to interpretation.

The long-term cost of Parkinson's care

Parkinson's disease is an exceptionally expensive medical condition to manage, estimated to cost the national economy billions of dollars per year. According to a study published in Movement Disorders¸ the average Parkinson's patient's economic costs, including both medical and non-medical expenses, are nearly $23,000 per year. Some common expenses associated with this degenerative disease include:

  • Hospital and doctor visits
  • Nursing home care
  • Prescription medication and other medical supplies
  • Income loss
  • Travel expenses to see medical specialists
  • Home modifications
  • In-home services such as personal care aides

There are also non-economic - but equally real - costs to consider, such as loss of consortium and loss of quality of life. The reality is that the long-term cost of a degenerative disease resulting from a traumatic brain injury can be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Effective legal representation is essential for victims to rebuild their lives

People who sustain traumatic brain injuries in car accidents, while playing sports or in slip-and-fall accidents rarely think about developing a degenerative disease decades down the road. Most victims are focused on getting better in the short term, and understandably so. But as this research shows, the full cost of a traumatic brain injury can go far beyond the cost of short-term medical care and other immediate expenses.

That's why it's so important for anyone with a brain injury caused by someone else's negligence to seek effective, experienced legal representation. Victims only have one opportunity to seek full compensation from an insurance company for their injuries, and they need to make the most of that opportunity. Our firm has the experience, resources and specialized knowledge needed to seek the compensation people with traumatic brain injuries need to rebuild their lives, even if the worst happens decades later.

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Washington State Association for Justice Eagle ProgramWashington State Association for JusticeBrain Injury Association of AmericaWashington State Bar AssociationBrain Injury Alliance Washington
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