TBI Increases the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers at the UCLA Department of Neurobiology led by Dr. Marie-Francoise Chesselet demonstrated in 2012 that inducing a moderate TBI in rats caused the rats to lose 30% of their dopamine-producing neurons within a 26 week period following the TBI. This made the rats vulnerable to developing Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
The researchers found that exposing the brain injured rats to the neurotoxic pesticide paraquat led them to lose 30% of their dopamine producing neurons in just 13 weeks. They concluded that TBI alone is a risk factor for delayed onset of PD, and that it renders the brain more vulnerable to developing PD following separate brain insults.