Research Reports - Growing literature but limited evidence: A systematic review regarding prebiotic and probiotic interventions for those with traumatic brain injury

Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Oct;65:57-67. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.06.003. Epub 2017
Jun 9.

Brenner LA(1), Stearns-Yoder KA(2), Hoffberg AS(3), Penzenik ME(3), Starosta
AJ(3), Hernández TD(4), Hadidi DA(5), Lowry CA(6).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is highly prevalent among a wide range of
populations, including civilians, military personnel, and Veterans. TBI sequelae
may be further exacerbated by symptoms associated with frequently occurring
comorbid psychiatric conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This is particularly true among the population of military personnel from recent
conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a history of mild TBI (mTBI) and PTSD.
The need for efficacious treatments for TBI and comorbid PTSD is significant, and
evidence-based interventions for these frequently co-occurring conditions are
limited. Based on findings suggesting that inflammation may be an underlying
mechanism of both conditions, anti-inflammatory/immunoregulatory agents,
including probiotics, may represent a novel strategy to treat TBI and/or
PTSD-related symptoms. The focus of this systematic review was to identify and
evaluate existing research regarding prebiotic and probiotic interventions for
the populations of individuals with a history of TBI and/or PTSD. Only 4 studies
were identified (3 severe TBI, 1 PTSD, 0 co-occurring TBI and PTSD). Although
findings suggested some promise, work in this area is nascent and results to date
do not support some claims within the extensive coverage of probiotics in the
popular press. 

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