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Nutr Neurosci. 2018 Feb;21(2):79-91. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2016.1236174. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Supplements, nutrition, and alternative therapies for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

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a Department of Neurosurgery , West Virginia University School of Medicine , Morgantown , USA.
b Center for Neuroscience , West Virginia University School of Medicine , Morgantown , USA.
c Department of Neurosurgery , Oregon Health Sciences University , Portland , USA.
d Department of Surgery , Matigan Army Medical Center , Tacoma , WA , USA.
e Department of Neurosurgery , University of Pittsburgh Medical Center , PA , USA.
f Department of Neurosurgery , Northshore Healthcare System , Evanston , IL , USA.


Studies using traditional treatment strategies for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) have produced limited clinical success. Interest in treatment for mild TBI is at an all time high due to its association with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other neurodegenerative diseases, yet therapeutic options remain limited. Traditional pharmaceutical interventions have failed to transition to the clinic for the treatment of mild TBI. As such, many pre-clinical studies are now implementing non-pharmaceutical therapies for TBI. These studies have demonstrated promise, particularly those that modulate secondary injury cascades activated after injury. Because no TBI therapy has been discovered for mild injury, researchers now look to pharmaceutical supplementation in an attempt to foster success in human clinical trials. Non-traditional therapies, such as acupuncture and even music therapy are being considered to combat the neuropsychiatric symptoms of TBI. In this review, we highlight alternative approaches that have been studied in clinical and pre-clinical studies of TBI, and other related forms of neural injury. The purpose of this review is to stimulate further investigation into novel and innovative approaches that can be used to treat the mechanisms and symptoms of mild TBI.


Alternative therapies; Chronic symptoms; Mild traumatic brain injury; Secondary injury cascades; Supplementation

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