Previous studies have linked brain injury with a long-term risk of neurological diseases including dementia, Parkinson’s and epilepsy, and it’s been suggested that it’s also an independent risk factor for stroke.
This new review of 18 studies from four countries found that patients with these injuries have an 86% higher risk of stroke than people who haven’t had a TBI.
While patients’ added risk may be greatest in the first four months after their head injury, it remains significant for up to five years, according to the authors of the new review.
“TBI patients should be informed of the potential for increased stroke risk and with the risk of stroke at its highest in the first four months post-injury, this is a critical time period to educate patients and their care givers on stroke risk and symptoms,” said lead author Grace Turner, a fellow in the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Research.
She and her colleagues found that TBI is a risk factor for stroke regardless of the severity or type of the injury.
They said this is significant because 70% to 90% of these head hits are mild. The finding suggests that TBIs should be considered a chronic condition even when they are mild and patient