Report at a Glance
To help alleviate the effects of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), the U.S. Department of Defense should ensure that all military personnel with this type of injury receive adequate protein and calories immediately after the trauma and through the first two weeks of treatment, says a new report from the IOM. Evidence from several studies of severely brain-injured patients shows that providing energy and protein to patients early reduces inflammation and improves their outcomes, said the committee of experts who wrote the report.
This is the only nutrition-related approach to treating TBI that the committee recommended DOD implement at this time based on its review of the possible benefits of nutrients, dietary supplements, and specific diets to improve outcomes for TBI ranging from mild to severe. Several other nutritional approaches show potential for reducing the symptoms of brain injury, but there is not yet enough evidence about their effectiveness to recommend their adoption.