According to the study’s findings, a TBI mouse having a sufficient amount of Omega 3 fatty acids has more active neurons than a TBI mouse lacking Omega 3s. However, the amount of impaired neurons depends on the level of severity from a TBI. If the TBI is minor, the amount of neural damage will be little. But if the TBI is severe, or severe diffuse axonal, then the axons in the brain are shaken or ripped apart and now require new neural pathways and replenishment. Nonetheless, Omega 3 fatty acids protect and promote neural activity for a TBI patient.
Omega-3s act as an Anti-depressant.
Nearly half of all traumatic brain injured persons suffer from depression. When the brain is damaged, it is hard to be happy. So, it follows then that a brain injured person likely lacks happiness. Of course, this is also depending on the severity of his or her injuries and the placement of said injuries.
But according to this study, Omega-3s derived from fish are linked to a happy life. The Omega-3s provided by fish act as an anti-depressant because they have been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in person’s brain.
My high school psychology teacher would often take the class on a ‘Serotonin Walk’ to increase the moods of her students. Not saying it was sufficient for increasing every student’s mood, the philosophy behind her thinking was correct: if one increases serotonin, then one increases happiness.
The ability to increase serotonin and dopamine levels is the key component for common anti-depressants like Prozac or Alexa. You can either take these drugs to lift your mood, or eat some fish, or do both.
Omega-3s provide resiliency to TBI.
Not only does fish intake reduce the risk of cardiovascular failure and other diseases, fish intake provides a cushion of resiliency to a traumatic brain injury. Although no one wants to suffer a TBI, the Boy Scout Motto, ‘Be Prepared’, fits accordingly here. Factoring in all of the previous listed benefits of fish, it follows that fish intake or Omega-3 fatty acids help lower the effects of a TBI.
Without the Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, a TBI recovery is diminished because Omega-3s prevent cognitive decline, help repair neural damage, and act as an anti-depressant, which creates a better resiliency to guard against the drastic effects of a TBI.
1. Take daily fish oil supplements.
2. Start ordering salmon when you have the option (or tilapia).
3. Watch out for fried fish; it kind of defeats the purpose.
 Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG (2010) Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths 2002–2006 Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 7 p.
 Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury
 Yan Q-S, Reith MEA, Jobe PC, Dailey JW. Dizocilpine (MK-801) increases not only dopamine but also serotonin and norepinephrine transmissions in the nucleus accumbens as measured by microdialysis in freely moving rats. Brain Research. 1997;765(1):149–158.