Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep. 2023;11(3):367-376. doi: 10.1007/s40141-023-00413-7. Epub 2023 Jul 5.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at a much greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to the general population. This review discusses dietary patterns as a means of addressing modifiable risk factors following TBI exposure. Evidence-based resources for practicing Physiatrists and Brain Injury Medicine specialists pertaining to nutrition education and counseling are also provided.
RECENT FINDINGS: We examined Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, plant-based, ketogenic, and intermittent fasting dietary patterns through publications of clinical trials and systematic reviews. While many reviews had significant positive findings, some were limited by generalizability.
SUMMARY: While there is extensive literature on the immediate nutrition goals in the inpatient setting following an acute TBI exposure, there is limited literature discussing the nature of diet and nutrition in the post-acute setting. Fortunately, most individuals with TBI exposure survive their initial injury and continue into the recovery phase. The scientific literature supports increased morbidity and mortality with chronic TBI exposure compared to matched counterparts, most notably with CVD. A diet rich in fiber and nutrients but limited in added sugars, saturated fats, and excess calories would likely have the greatest cardiovascular and related neurologic protection. Future studies are needed to assess the specific impact of dietary interventions in the chronic phase of brain injury recovery.