A recently published study by Houston methodologists suggests that signs of concussion may be found in the gut. By taking blood, feces and saliva samples from 33 Rice University football players, the researchers were able to study the diagnostic potential of the gut microbiome. They say their findings demonstrate that a simple, objective diagnostic test can be designed to track the effects of a concussion and signal when it is safe to return to action.
The results of this study are described in an article entitled “Changes in intestinal microbiome after a concussion related to sports in a cohort of football players: a pilot study “, which appeared in the May issue of the magazine Brain, behavior and immunity are health, a peer-reviewed journal of the Psychoneimmunological Research Society. The relevant author of the study is Sonia Vilapol, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Center for Neuroregeneration of the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
While brain movement inside the skull can lead to nerve cell damage, such microscopic cell damage is not visible in imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, which are more likely to detect damage to the scale of skull fractures, cerebral hemorrhage, or edema. Thus, the most commonly used test to diagnose concussions is based solely on self-reported symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, and headaches, which can be very vague, subjective, and often underestimated by athletes who wish to continue playing. . This can make them knowingly difficult to diagnose.
A study conducted over a single season found the shedding of two types of bacteria after concussions, which are commonly found in abundance in feces samples from healthy people. He also found a correlation between traumatic brain injury-bound proteins in the blood and one type of bacteria associated with brain injury, in the stool.
So far there were dozens of them traumatic brain injury identified biomarkers, there has been limited success in developing commercial blood tests sensitive enough to detect small increases in biomarker concentrations. However, the central nervous system is also closely related intestinal nervous systemarising in the intestines, and head injury invariably leads to changes in intestinal microbiotasaid Vilapol.
She said these changes in the microbiota could provide information on the continuing trauma to the central nervous system. Dr. Vilapol explains the study in this video.
“Until your gut microbiome returns to normal, you have not recovered,” Vilapol said. “That’s why studying the gut is so helpful. This is not a lie. And that’s why there is such an interest in using it for diagnostic purposes. “
While only four players in the study were diagnosed with severe concussions, the researchers say the results need to be confirmed in a larger sample size. They also plan to conduct a similar study in the near future with the participation of female football athletes, who are just as often head injury.
“Women and men do not have the same immunity or gut microbiome, and as a woman and a mother of daughters, I would not want to be the kind of researcher who looks only at men’s issues without noticing women,” Vilapol said. “Footballers also have very high levels of concussions, and all the same problems when it comes to existing diagnostic methods.”
Sirena Soriana et al., Changes in the gut microbiome after a sports-related concussion in a cohort of football players: a pilot study Brain, behavior and immunity are health (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.bbih.2022.100438
Citation: A new study shows that the gut can store important tips about concussions (2022, May 10), obtained May 10, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-gut-important-clues- concussions.html
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