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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research Presentation by CUKC Team Selected for 2017 ACA Sports Council Symposium
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research Presentation by CUKC Team Selected for 2017 ACA Sports Council Symposium
Doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) student Rachel Gilmore is co-lead investigator for "Effects of nutritional supplements on concussion and traumatic brain injury," presented at the American Chiropractic Association Sports Council Symposium.

Doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) student Rachel Gilmore is co-lead investigator for "Effects of nutritional supplements on concussion and traumatic brain injury," presented at the American Chiropractic Association Sports Council Symposium.

Could the addition of nutritional supplements to concussion protocols contribute to the recovery from traumatic brain injuries? Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) student Rachel Gilmore and Dr. Mark Pfefer, CUKC professor and director of research and scholarship decided to dig deeper into ideas for improved traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment. The results caught the attention of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

The review of studies to-date was one of 20 poster presentations accepted at the ACA Sports Symposium, Oct. 13-14 in Denver.

"The aim of this study was to review evidence on nutritional supplements as treatment options," Pfefer said. "The review provided a summary of evidence to guide practitioners in the management of concussion and traumatic brain injury."

About 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury. From 2001 to 2009, emergency room visits for TBI-related sports and recreation-caused injuries increased 62 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control. In 2010 alone, there were 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or deaths involving TBI.

It's known that a multitude of neurological dysfunctions are associated with concussions and TBI, yet even with TBI gaining national attention, Pfefer acknowledges that current treatment options remain limited.

The CUKC review came to several conclusions:

  • Nutritional supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, resveratrol, melatonin, creatine and vitamins C, D, and E, are emerging as promising therapeutic options.
  • Clinical evidence for nutritional supplementation in TBI treatment is lacking, so clinical trials and human studies should be increased.
  • Deeper research into the nature of biomechanical pathways and the effects of nutritional supplements is needed, with a better evaluation of effective dosage amounts.

Cleveland University-Kansas City has long been involved in research. One of the goals of the research department is to promote student involvement in research and scholarship activities. Over the past 10 years, Pfefer said the University has been "very productive" in submissions accepted by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges-Research Agenda Conference.

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