Research Reports - Zinc treatment in traumatic brain injury

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Aug 13

Morris DR, Levenson CW

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In light of the recent recognition that even mild forms of
traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to long-term cognitive and behavioral
deficits, this review examines recent data on the neuroprotective and neurotoxic
roles of zinc after brain injury.
RECENT FINDINGS: Data show that treatment using dietary and parenteral zinc
supplementation can reduce TBI-associated depression and improve cognitive
function, specifically spatial learning and memory. However, excessive release of
free zinc, particularly in the hippocampus associated with acute injury, can lead
to increases in protein ubiquitination and neuronal death.
SUMMARY: This work shows the need for future research to clarify the potentially
contradictory roles of zinc in the hippocampus and define the clinical use of
zinc as a treatment following brain injury in humans. This is particularly
important given the finding that zinc may reduce TBI-associated depression, a
common and difficult outcome to treat in all forms of TBI.

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