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Concussions (traumatic brain injury) getting big press coverage, vitamin D might be both a cause and a solution

Reasons to associate concussion with low vitamin D

  1. Those people having concussions have lower vitamin D levels
  2. Increase in number of concussions as vitamin D levels have dropped
  3. Giving vitamin D (and other supplements) shortens recovery time from concussions
  4. Giving vitamin D resulted in fewer concussions (football players)

Researchers tie Gulf War illness to brain damage USA Today March 2013

  • Using fMRI machines, the Georgetown University researchers were able to see anomalies in the bundle of nerve fibers that interpret pain signals in the brain in 31 Gulf War veterans. The research will be published Wednesday in PLOS ONE journal.
    CAUTION: The FMRI magnetic fields MAY substantially reduce the vitamin D levels - Update May 2013
  • CLICK HERE for the article and PDF

CBS 60 minuutes section on Traumatic Brain Injury in the military May 2013

  • CBS interviewed a Major who would have preferred losing a limb to the TBI, Was almost suicidal
  • lots of confusion in the military between TBI and post traumaic stress
  • Long term cognitive problems if get 2nd TBI before the first one heals
  • A new brain facility was made (with donated money) – which had far higher resolution imaging
  • They were able to find abnormalities in 1/3 of people who had not been previously detected
  • But the facility can only process about 20 people per month – vs 10,000 are suspected as still having TBI
  • Bottom line – They still have no way of treating brain damage

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Increase in Concussions - 5X for girls, 2X for boys
(while vitamin D and Omega-3 have been decreasing)

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Washington Post 2013


A New Way to Care for Young Brains New York Times May 2013

Highlights of a long interesting article on the concerns by parents of concussions in school sports

  • In the last three years, dozens of youth concussion clinics have opened in nearly 35 states
  • Boston Children’s Hospital, sports concussion clinic business increased 15X in 5 years
  • 43 states passing laws requiring school-age athletes who have sustained a concussion to have written authorization from a medical professional
  • 90 % of concussions are resolved in a month, if not sooner.
  • about 4,000,000 concussions diagnosed annually in America
  • There is no wall chart or medical textbook that says just how much rest or inactivity is needed
  • In the worst case, known as second-impact syndrome, it can be a fatal combination.
  • One of the most commonly known treatment protocols is cognitive rest,
  • Tests, which measure reaction time, learning and memory skills, and how quickly a person thinks and solves problems, are stored at the beginning of the season.
  • “Concussion clinics might be seen as a loss leader for the halo effect they bring the institution,”
  • Emergency room visits by children and adolescents with brain injuries have increased by more than 60 % in the past eight years,

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Three Hypothesis by VitaminDWiki:

  1. Less vitamin D ==> thinner bones ==> More skull fractures = TBI
  2. Less vitamin D ==> less able to undergo trauma (such as a concussion)
    Note: Traumas consume vitamin D, so a series of traumas will result in very low vitamin D levels
  3. Less vitamin D ==> less muscle and slower muscle response ==> fall more

Wonder if the increase in TBI is associated with the decrease in vitamin D

Note that seniors have more falls when they have lower vitamin D.

Overview Falling, Fractures and Vitamin D

CDC US 2007

  • There was an increase in TBI-related emergency department visits (14.4%) and hospitalizations (19.5%) from 2002 to 2006.
  • There was a 62% increase in fall-related TBI seen in emergency departments among children aged 14 years and younger from 2002 to 2006.
  • There was an increase in fall-related TBI among adults aged 65 and older;
    • 46% increase in emergency department visits,
    • 34% increase in hospitalizations, and
    • 27% increase in TBI-related deaths from 2002 to 2006.

Misc TBI charts



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Combination treatment with progesterone and vitamin D hormone may be more effective than monotherapy for nervous system injury and disease.

Front Neuroendocrinol. 2009 Jul;30(2):158-72. Epub 2009 Apr 24; Cekic M, Sayeed I, Stein DG.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

More than two decades of pre-clinical research and two recent clinical trials have shown that progesterone (PROG) and its metabolites exert beneficial effects after traumatic brain injury (TBI) through a number of metabolic and physiological pathways that can reduce damage in many different tissues and organ systems. Emerging data on 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (VDH), itself a steroid hormone, have begun to provide evidence that, like PROG, it too is neuroprotective, although some of its actions may involve different pathways. Both agents have high safety profiles, act on many different injury and pathological mechanisms, and are clinically relevant, easy to administer, and inexpensive. Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in a large segment of the population, especially the elderly and institutionalized, and can significantly affect recovery after CNS injury. The combination of PROG and VDH in pre-clinical and clinical studies is a novel and compelling approach to TBI treatment.

PMID: 19394357 CLICK HERE for PDF


Traumatic brain injury and aging: is a combination of progesterone and vitamin D hormone a simple solution to a complex problem?

Neurotherapeutics. 2010 Jan;7(1):81-90; Cekic M, Stein DG; Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Although progress is being made in the development of new clinical treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI), little is known about whether such treatments are effective in older patients, in whom frailty, prior medical conditions, altered metabolism, and changing sensitivity to medications all can affect outcomes following a brain injury. In this review we consider TBI to be a complex, highly variable, and systemic disorder that may require a new pharmacotherapeutic approach, one using combinations or cocktails of drugs to treat the many components of the injury cascade. We review some recent research on the role of vitamin D hormone and vitamin D deficiency in older subjects, and on the interactions of these factors with progesterone, the only treatment for TBI that has shown clinical effectiveness. Progesterone is now in phase III multicenter trial testing in the United States. We also discuss some of the potential mechanisms and pathways through which the combination of hormones may work, singly and in synergy, to enhance survival and recovery after TBI.

PMID: 20129500 PDF is attached at the bottom of this page


See also VitaminDWiki

See also web

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TBI US military

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Helmets do not prevent concussions

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Men playing tackle football before age 12 were 2X more likely to have brain problems

Playing Football Before 12 Is Tied to Brain Problems Later New York Times Sept 2017

  • ". . based on a sample of 214 former players, with an average age of 51. Of those, 43 played through high school, 103 played through college and the remaining 68 played in the N.F.L."

Observations by VitaminDWiki

  1. This sample is biased. It ignores football drop-outs
  2. Suspect that concussions have greatly increased in the past 40 years due less protection from lower Omega-3 and Vitamin D


Short URL for this page = http://is.gd/concussiond

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
8457 Concussion - history.jpg admin 21 Sep, 2017 18:56 19.87 Kb 420
8293 Helments do not PREVENT concussions.jpg admin 11 Aug, 2017 18:41 72.46 Kb 630
8211 NFL CTE JAMA.jpg admin 25 Jul, 2017 19:26 130.89 Kb 649
8210 NFL CTE JAMA.pdf PDF 2017 admin 25 Jul, 2017 19:25 1.84 Mb 112
2655 TBI, aging, vitamin D, progesterone - 2010.pdf PDF admin 26 Jun, 2013 17:32 104.95 Kb 1450
2540 Brain Injury infographic.jpg admin 02 Jun, 2013 13:44 66.97 Kb 12155
2479 Matthews_Trauma Dec 2012.pdf admin 08 May, 2013 22:59 1.33 Mb 2105
2466 CBS TBI.jpg admin 07 May, 2013 13:15 34.23 Kb 59120
2018 Obama football.jpg admin 27 Jan, 2013 14:15 33.07 Kb 9681
862 TBI CDC 2007.pdf PDF admin 30 Oct, 2011 01:24 1.98 Mb 1786
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