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PM R. 2011 Jun;3(6 Suppl 1):S111-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2011.03.001.

The influence of dietary factors in central nervous system plasticity and injury recovery.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of California Los Angeles Brain Injury Research Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Although feeding is an essential component of life, it is only recently that the actions of foods on brain plasticity and function have been scrutinized. There is evidence that select dietary factors are important modifiers of brain plasticity and can have an impact on central nervous system health and disease. Results of new research indicate that dietary factors exert their effects by affecting molecular events related to the management of energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity. Recent study results show that select dietary factors have mechanisms similar to those of exercise, and that, in some cases, dietary factors can complement the action of exercise. Abundant research findings in animal models of central nervous system injury support the idea that nutrients can be taken in through whole foods and dietary supplements to reduce the consequences of neural damage. Therefore, exercise and dietary management appear as a noninvasive and effective strategy to help counteract neurologic and cognitive disorders.

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