The Nexus of Traumatic Brain Injury and Movement Disorders in Veterans of the Post 9/11 Wars

Baldock, Deanna
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Approximately 1.7 million Americans suffer TBI annually (Coronado et al., 2012) and 5.17 million Americans are disabled after TBI (Zaloshnja, 2008). TBI is a risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders (McKee & Robinson, 2014). However, the relationship between TBI and movement disorders has not been studied thoroughly. This study examined the odds of movement disorder diagnosis after exposure to TBI during deployment using retrospective data from Veterans who sought VHA care. To look at the effect of TBI, those with movement disorders were matched to four controls based on sex, branch of service, year, and age at first VHA service. Conditional logistic regression revealed the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of movement disorder diagnosis was significantly higher in Veterans with positive screen only (AOR: 1.19; 95% CI:1.02-1.40), mild (AOR: 1.94; 95% CI: 1.75-2.15), moderate/severe (AOR: 2.41; 95% CI:1.99-2.91), penetrating (AOR: 2.98; 95% CI:1.74-5.11), and unclassified TBI (AOR: 2.20; 95% CI:1.74-5.11) compared to Veterans with no indication of deployment TBI. There were not increased odds of a movement disorder diagnosis in those with blast TBI compared to other modalities. Also, odds of movement disorder diagnosis for those with mTBI did not increase significantly based on number of episodes of loss of consciousness, alteration of consciousness, or post traumatic amnesia. The increased risk for movement disorder diagnosis after TBI needs to be taken seriously because of its profound impact on individuals and future research is greatly needed to identify ways to minimize the effects of TBI.

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Military, Movement Disorders, parkinsonianism, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veteran