Research Reports - A review of the neuroprotective role of vitamin D in traumatic brain injury with implications for supplementation post-concussion

Brain Inj. 2016 May 16:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Lawrence DW(1), Sharma B(2).

BACKGROUND: Nutritional interventions are promising treatment adjuncts in the
management of concussion. Vitamin D (VDH) supplementation has demonstrated
neuroprotective properties in multiple models of acquired brain injury.
OBJECTIVE: Review the neuroprotective role of VDH supplementation following
traumatic brain injury (TBI).
METHODS: A Medline search was conducted to review manuscripts investigating the
influence of VDH status or supplementation on TBI outcomes.
RESULTS: The search identified 165 studies, of which five were included. Four
manuscripts studied a rodent model of TBI, while one studied a clinical sample.
Vitamin D monotherapy independently reduced inflammation and neuronal injury
following TBI, with a more robust effect observed in combination with
progesterone (PROG). One study demonstrated VDH deficiency exacerbates post-TBI
inflammatory response. One study in a clinical sample found combination therapy
superior to PROG alone or placebo in improving outcomes after severe TBI. One
study observed a more robust response to low-dose VDH compared to high-dose VDH
when given in combination with PROG.
CONCLUSION: A protective role for VDH and a vitamin D sufficient status was
identified for numerous outcomes following TBI. However, VDH supplementation
cannot be recommended at this time to improve outcomes following TBI.

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