New Evidence Shows Gut Microbiome Composition Shifts After Traumatic Brain Injury | Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
In the first systematic review on this topic, researchers at the University of Texas report a growing body of consistent evidence that traumatic brain injury (TBI) alters the gut microbiome. Evaluating these changes, they conclude, will be fertile ground for new therapeutic interventions.
In previous articles, we have reported evidence of neurotransmitters in the gastrointestinal tract and the importance of the “gut-brain axis” as a “two-way communication network”. Evidence has shown that around 90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine is produced in the gut and that many bacterial species play a role in the production and consumption of neurotransmitters in the gut.
One of the studies highlighted in the review showed a general pattern in head trauma cases, with the amount of beneficial bacteria decreasing over time and the amount of pathogenic bacteria increasing over time. This can lead to gut permeability and an increased risk of additional deleterious conditions, including “rapid weight loss, negative nitrogen balance, and increased protein breakdown in the whole body.”
This review highlights the importance of monitoring metabolic changes after TBI and further investigating effective interventions to prevent these changes.