Recent neurological studies outline a link between TBI and Parkinson disease, discuss neuroimaging to predict recovery, and warn against DIY tDCS.
Three new neurological studies outline the association of traumatic brain injury with Parkinson disease, the potential of neuroimaging in brain injuries, and the dangers of “do-it-yourself” brain stimulation. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) that involves loss of consciousness has been linked with later onset of Parkinson disease, but not to the development of Alzheimer disease later in life. Neuroimaging may be able to predict which patients recover after a mild TBI. "Do-it-yourself" transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is dangerous and should be avoided outside of clinical trials.
TBI Associated with Parkinson Disease. Abstract link.
TBI with loss of consciousness is associated with a risk for Parkinson disease, progression of parkinsonism, and accumulation of Lewy body, but not dementia.
Clinicians may be wise to ask patients about any history of head injury as a means of ascertaining the likelihood of a Parkinson's disease diagnosis.
Neuroimaging May Predict Better Outcomes After TBI. Abstract link.
Among patients with a TBI, those with abnormally high fractional anisotropy as seen on diffuse tensor imaging (DTI) at the time of their injury are more likely to have a good outcome.
The use of DTI may lead to the development and targeting of treatments for patients after concussion.
Warning Against “Do-it-Yourself” Brain Stimulation. Abstract link.
Using tDCS outside of clinical trials is dangerous because “do-it-yourself” protocols have never been tested and cannot be monitored properly in a home environment, according to four neurologists in an editorial.