Amino Acids Relieve Sleep Problems after Traumatic Brain Injury in Animals

Posted by Tom Macek on

An astonishing result of a study recently done depicts that treatment of traumatic brain injury is in fact possible.

Thanks to amino acids.

Researchers did an experiment on mice that had brain injuries which led to disruptions in their sleep. These mice were then treated with an improved diet which consisted of amino acids. This led to the improvement in their condition.

Not only did the brain injuries begin to heal but the sleep disturbances also decreased. The same could also be applied to humans.  This can greatly benefit the healthcare industry.  This was the first research-based study of its kind in which the sleep-wake pattern was studied.  

As things were before this discovery, doctors could only treat external injuries of the patients with brain injuries. Problems like impeded memory, sleep patterns, and other cognitive abilities could not be treated.   Numerous patients out there who before this finding were deemed untreatable can now be treated.

Approximately two million people endure from a TBI each year in the United States.

People of all ages are affected by it. The danger that it inflicts vary from case to case. Some have relatively mild TBI cases while others may have fatal injuries. Incessant neurological hindrances such as blackouts, concussion, and sleep related issues are some of the problems caused by it.

The sleep related issues refer to sleeping less than what is appropriate along with disturbances in sleep. It also points out to stay awake throughout the night and sleeping during the day. All of this delays the recovery while the patient is suffering from a TBI.

A selected type of amino acids called the BCAAs which mainly consist of valine, leucine and isoleucine were chosen by the investigation team. These amino acids were added to the diet of mice and they were kept under strict observation.

These particular amino acids were chosen because they play a key role in maintaining the activity of the brain. It also helps neurons within the body in their correspondence with each other which are included in correspondence among neurons. A proper control experiment was setup to isolate the effects of the experiment. EEG tests were conducted to monitor the brain activity.

The results proved that a diet based on these amino acids restored brain activity to its normal. The cognitive ability of the subject returned to what it was before the TBI gradually. There was no time limit given but since each and every species is unique, the recovery time varies. It was observed that in both mice and humans TBI led to a lower level of orexin neurons in the body.

When a diet based on BCAAS was regularly given, the level of orexin neurons increased and so did the brain wave patterns. Hence, the dietary medication that consisted of giving amino acid supplements was termed as a treatment for people with TBI.  

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