Branched chain amino acid supplementation speeds concussion recovery in adolescents

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A new study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Neurotrauma found a significant reduction in total symptom score and faster return to physical activity among adolescents and young adults with concussion who were treated with branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation. 

BCAA supplementation has been shown to improve neurocognitive and sleep function in animal models of mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. The aim of the current study was to determine the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of different doses of oral BCAA supplementation in concussed adolescents and young adults. No serious adverse events were reported. 

"This study provides the first demonstration of efficacy, as well as safety and tolerability of BCAAs in concussed adolescents and young adults – specifically, a dose response effect in reducing concussion symptoms and return to baseline physical activity, in those treated with higher total doses of BCAAs," said Daniel Corwin, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and coauthors. "These findings provide important preliminary data to inform a larger trial of BCAA therapy to expedite concussion recovery."

My congratulations to the authors. This is an intriguing study that should inspire further research in the field. Many of our patients are interested in the topic of whether there are dietary supplements that may help recovery from concussion, and studies like this one take us closer to answers."

David L. Brody, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma

Source:
Journal reference:

Corwin, D. J., et al. (2024). Head Injury Treatment with HEalthy and Advanced Dietary Supplements (HIT HEADS): A pilot randomized controlled trial of the tolerability, safety, and efficacy of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the treatment of concussion in adolescents and young adults. Journal of Neurotrauma. doi.org/10.1089/neu.2023.0433.

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