People with a traumatic brain injury are at higher risk for developing certain neurological disorders. Post-traumatic seizures, hypopituitarism, and mood disorders have been well documented after traumatic brain injury. In addition, we know that a brain injury increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Less is known about the risk of a stroke after a traumatic brain injury. However, a recent study has shown that people with a traumatic brain injury are significantly more likely to suffer a stroke than people without injury. In addition, people with a traumatic brain injury are more likely to develop pre-stroke risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, within the first 6 months of injury.
The implication of this study is that clinicians and family members need to be extra alert to the early signs of stroke risk factors after brain injury. Those who receive early treatment will be less likely to have a stroke in the future.
Chen Y-H, Kang J-H, & Lin H-C. Patients with traumatic brain injury: Population-based study suggests increased risk of stroke. Stroke. (September 2011).