It’s not news any more that our brain (the central nervous system) and our gut (the enteric nervous system) are connected. Just think about those migraine attacks that are caused by some food sensitivities, or about headaches and even black-outs after too much alcohol. And these are only 2 of numerous other examples that show us how the gut influences the brain. But can this connection work two ways? Can some physical head trauma’s, like concussion, influence our gut health?
According to a recent pilot study, it can. Researchers found that head trauma of 33 male football players has led to changes in their gut microbiota. It turned out that after a concussion, the injuries caused inflammation, sending small proteins and molecules through the blood that breached the intestinal barrier and caused changes in the gut, affecting metabolism. Namely, concussion seemed to lower 2 bacterial species normally found in abundance in stool samples of healthy individuals.
Another finding of the study was a link between traumatic brain injury-linked proteins in the blood and one brain injury-linked bacterial species in the stool. Researchers believe that until the composition of the gut bacteria have returned to normal, you haven’t recovered from the injury.
Of course, this pilot study is small and its findings have to be confirmed on a larger group of people. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that our gut can be very helpful in objective measurement of recovery from a head injury.
Curious? HERE is the source