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Concussions (traumatic brain injury) getting big press coverage, vitamin D might be both a cause and a solution

Reasons to associate concussion with low vitamin D

  1. Those people having concussions have lower vitamin D levels
  2. Increase in the number of concussions as vitamin D levels have dropped
  3. Giving vitamin D (and other supplements) shortens recovery time from concussions
  4. Giving vitamin D resulted in fewer concussions (football players)

Researchers tie Gulf War illness to brain damage USA Today March 2013

  • Using fMRI machines, the Georgetown University researchers could see anomalies in the bundle of nerve fibers that interpret pain signals in the brain in 31 Gulf War veterans. The research will be published Wednesday in PLOS ONE journal.
    CAUTION: The FMRI magnetic fields MAY substantially reduce the vitamin D levels - Update May 2013
  • CLICK HERE for the article and PDF

Concussion linked to risk for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and ADHD Aug 2020

Increase risk for 190,000 People in Manitoba, Canada
dementia 1.7;    Parkinson’s disease 1.6;    ADHD 1.4;    mood and anxiety disorder 1.72
It gives increased risk with 2 and 3 concussions
“This association should not be misconstrued as causation.”
Does not speculate on the reason for the association
The founder of VitaminDWiki finds it interesting that all are associated with low vitamin D

CBS 60 minutes section on Traumatic Brain Injury in the military May 2013

  • CBS interviewed a Major who would have preferred losing a limb to the TBI, Was almost suicidal
  • lot of confusion in the military between TBI and post-traumatic stress
  • Long-term cognitive problems if you get 2nd TBI before the first one heals
  • A new brain facility was made (with donated money) – which had far higher-resolution imaging
  • They were able to find abnormalities in 1/3 of people who had not been previously detected
  • But the facility can only process about 20 people per month – vs. 10,000 are suspected as still having TBI
  • Bottom line – They still have no way of treating brain damage


Increase in Concussions - 5X for girls, 2X for boys
(while vitamin D and Omega-3 have been decreasing)

Washington Post 2013

A New Way to Care for Young Brains New York Times May 2013

Highlights of a long interesting article on the concerns by parents of concussions in school sports

  • In the last three years, dozens of youth concussion clinics have opened in nearly 35 states
  • Boston Children’s Hospital sports concussion clinic business increased 15X in 5 years
  • 43 states passed laws requiring school-age athletes who have sustained a concussion to have written authorization from a medical professional
  • 90 % of concussions are resolved in a month, if not sooner.
  • about 4,000,000 concussions diagnosed annually in America
  • There is no wall chart or medical textbook that says just how much rest or inactivity is needed
  • In the worst case, known as a second-impact syndrome, it can be a fatal combination.
  • One of the most commonly known treatment protocols is cognitive rest,
  • Tests, which measure reaction time, learning and memory skills, and how quickly a person thinks and solves problems, are stored at the beginning of the season.
  • “Concussion clinics might be seen as a loss leader for the halo effect they bring the institution.”
  • Emergency room visits by children and adolescents with brain injuries have increased by more than 60 % in the past eight years,

Hypothesis by VitaminDWiki:

  1. Less vitamin D ==> thinner bones ==> More skull fractures = TBI
  2. Less vitamin D ==> less able to undergo trauma (such as a concussion)
    • Note: Traumas consume vitamin D, so a series of traumas will result in very low vitamin D levels
  3. Less vitamin D ==> less muscle and slower muscle response ==> fall more
  4. The increase in TBI is associated with a decrease in vitamin D

Note: Seniors have more falls when they have lower vitamin D.

Overview Falling, Fractures and Vitamin D

CDC US 2007 (was updated 2014)

  • There was an increase in TBI-related emergency department visits (14.4%) and hospitalizations (19.5%) from 2002 to 2006.
  • A 62% increase in fall-related TBI was seen in emergency departments among children aged 14 years and younger from 2002 to 2006.
  • There was an increase in fall-related TBI among adults aged 65 and older;
    • 46% increase in emergency department visits,
    • 34% increase in hospitalizations, and
    • 27% increase in TBI-related deaths from 2002 to 2006.

Misc TBI charts

Image Image Image Image


Combination treatment with progesterone and vitamin D hormone may be more effective than monotherapy for nervous system injury and disease.

Front Neuroendocrinol. 2009 Jul;30(2):158-72. Epub 2009 Apr 24; Cekic M, Sayeed I, Stein DG.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

More than two decades of pre-clinical research and two recent clinical trials have shown that progesterone (PROG) and its metabolites exert beneficial effects after traumatic brain injury (TBI) through a number of metabolic and physiological pathways that can reduce damage in many different tissues and organ systems. Emerging data on 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D(3) (VDH), a steroid hormone, have begun to provide evidence that, like PROG, it is neuroprotective, although some of its actions may involve different pathways. Both agents have high safety profiles, act on many different injury and pathological mechanisms, and are clinically relevant, easy to administer, and inexpensive. Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in a large segment of the population, especially the elderly and institutionalized, and can significantly affect recovery after CNS injury. The combination of PROG and VDH in pre-clinical and clinical studies is a novel and compelling approach to TBI treatment.

PMID: 19394357 CLICK HERE for PDF

Traumatic brain injury and aging: is a combination of progesterone and vitamin D hormone a simple solution to a complex problem?

Neurotherapeutics. 2010 Jan;7(1):81-90; Cekic M, Stein DG; Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Although progress is being made in the development of new clinical treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI), little is known about whether such treatments are effective in older patients, in whom frailty, prior medical conditions, altered metabolism, and changing sensitivity to medications all can affect outcomes following a brain injury. In this review, we consider TBI to be a complex, highly variable, and systemic disorder that may require a new pharmacotherapeutic approach, one using combinations or cocktails of drugs to treat the many components of the injury cascade. We review some recent research on the role of vitamin D hormone and vitamin D deficiency in older subjects and on the interactions of these factors with progesterone, the only treatment for TBI that has shown clinical effectiveness. Progesterone is now in phase III multicenter trial testing in the United States. We also discuss some of the potential mechanisms and pathways through which the combination of hormones may work, singly and in synergy, to enhance survival and recovery after TBI.

PMID: 20129500 PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

See also VitaminDWiki

See also web



TBI US military


Helmets do not prevent concussions.


Men playing tackle football before age 12 were 2X more likely to have brain problems.

Playing Football Before 12 Is Tied to Brain Problems Later New York Times Sept 2017

  • ". . based on a sample of 214 former players, with an average age of 51. Of those, 43 played through high school, 103 played through college, and 68 played in the N.F.L."

Observations by VitaminDWiki

  1. This sample is biased. It ignores football drop-outs
  2. Suspect that concussions have greatly increased in the past 40 years due to less protection from lower Omega-3 and Vitamin D

Commonalities and dissimilarities of TBI and PTSD


Are you more likely to get a concussion after having one? 2008

After having one concussion, you are more likely to have another — some doctors estimate you increase your risk up to three times.

Nutrients needed vs the part of the brain which was concussed


Football brain has signs of wear and tear even without any concussion symptoms - NYT Aug 2019

Football May Take a Toll on the Brain, Even Without Concussions
Symptoms of a concussion after a resounding hit to the head include:

  • lose consciousness,
  • have a headache,
  • feel dizzy or disoriented,
  • be unable to follow a moving finger with his or her eyes, and
  • hear ringing in the ears

Based on "A common neural signature of brain injury in concussion and sub concussion."

  • Looked at the midbrains of a team of college football players and found a strong correlation between brain damage with accelerometer readings which were independent of any concussion symptoms
  • DOI: 10.1126/sci-adv.aau3460 - Free PDF

Short URL for this page = http://is.gd/concussiond

Concussions (traumatic brain injury) getting big press coverage, vitamin D might be both a cause and a solution        
330873 visitors, last modified 15 Jul, 2023,
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Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
10586 Concussion nutrients.jpg admin 23 Sep, 2018 91.55 Kb 6454
10190 Vitamin-d-deficiency-in-TBI.pdf admin 15 Jul, 2018 881.44 Kb 1310
9802 PTSD TBI 2.jpg admin 04 May, 2018 20.64 Kb 5574
9801 PTS TBI.jpg admin 04 May, 2018 21.99 Kb 5747
9800 PTSD TBI.jpg admin 04 May, 2018 26.50 Kb 5997
8457 Concussion - history.jpg admin 21 Sep, 2017 19.87 Kb 8066
8293 Helments do not PREVENT concussions.jpg admin 11 Aug, 2017 72.46 Kb 8204
8211 NFL CTE JAMA.jpg admin 25 Jul, 2017 130.89 Kb 7492
8210 NFL CTE JAMA.pdf admin 25 Jul, 2017 1.84 Mb 2201
2655 TBI, aging, vitamin D, progesterone - 2010.pdf admin 26 Jun, 2013 104.95 Kb 2373
2540 Brain Injury infographic.jpg admin 02 Jun, 2013 66.97 Kb 20423
2479 Matthews_Trauma Dec 2012.pdf admin 08 May, 2013 1.33 Mb 3253
2466 CBS TBI.jpg admin 07 May, 2013 34.23 Kb 105266
2018 Obama football.jpg admin 27 Jan, 2013 33.07 Kb 16641
862 TBI CDC 2007.pdf admin 30 Oct, 2011 1.98 Mb 3156