TBI leads to cellular loss, destabilization of membranes, disruption of synapses and altered brain connectivity, and increased risk of neurodegenerative disease. A significant and long-lasting decrease in phospholipids (PLs), essential membrane constituents, has recently been reported in plasma and brain tissue, in human and experimental TBI. Researchers hypothesized that supporting PL synthesis post-injury could improve outcome post-TBI. Male C57BL/6 mice received a controlled cortical impact injury and then were fed a control diet or a diet enriched with phospholipid precursers (FC) for 70 days.
FC led to a significantly improved sensorimotor outcome and cognition, reduced lesion size and oligodendrocyte loss, and it restored myelin. It reversed the loss of the synaptic protein synaptophysin and decreased levels of the axon growth inhibitor, Nogo-A, thus creating a permissive environment. It decreased microglia activation and the rise in ß-amyloid precursor protein and restored the depressed neurogenesis. The effects of this medical multi-nutrient suggest that support of PL biosynthesis post-TBI, a new treatment paradigm, has significant therapeutic potential in this neurological condition for which there is no satisfactory treatment. The multi-nutrient tested has been used in dementia patients and is safe and well tolerated, which would enable rapid clinical exploration in TBI.