DHA may facilitate healing after brain trauma

 
 
 

A traumatic brain injury is a brain injury caused by an external physical force. The resulting damage can be confined to one area of the brain or involve more than one area, and depending on the extent of the damage, traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate or severe.

High-energy sports (rugby, soccer, hockey, basketball, squash, cycling, etc.) often lead to head and brain trauma. Sport injuries are common and costly for the “amateur” and professional athletes. It is estimated that, in the United States, up to 3.8 million individuals may be affected annually by sports-related concussions (a type of traumatic brain injury). It is very important to ensure full recovery for athletes before returning to play: those with a previous history of concussion have a greater risk of subsequent concussions and the long-term consequences of repeated brain traumas can be severe, and may even result in later mental defects.

The inflammatory process following a trauma is the adequate response of the body in order to bring the affected tissue back to normality. This process is modulated by the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; to facilitate healing, they have to be present in significant amounts in the affected tissues before the trauma occurs, but levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids are often low due to low intake of seafood. Saturation of brain cells with omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) may facilitate healing after brain trauma, counteracting negative long-term results.

 

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DHA as a preventive measure in contact sports

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