Amino Acid Research for Concussions

Here is a press release from the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine regarding some initial research into amino acids and the effect on recover from brain injury, in particular concussions.  (I was forwarded this information via email, I cannot find it on the Penn website, but I have since found the exact copy over at SportsConcussions.org); UPDATE: The opening of the press release was written by the wonderful author/owner of SportsConcussions.org, Jean Rickerson.

Concussions are often called the “invisible” injury because they are usually not detectable by the average CT scan or MRI.  Even so, it is often very apparent that something is wrong.  That “something” is often defined as a metabolic imbalance, created by the impact of the brain against the skull. Healing means waiting for potassium, calcium, and glucose to return to their rightful places and proportions in the brain.

Amino acids may lend a helping hand.

In animal studies, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that administering three different amino acids restored the neurochemical balance and cognitive ability affected by the injury.

Peter LeRoux, MD, FACS, associate professor of Neurosurgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded a 3-year, $250,000 Dana Foundation Clinical Neuroscience grant, to conduct a study using branch chain amino acids to treat concussion in athletes.

This translational effort started in the basic science laboratory Continue reading