Although traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often associated with gait deficits, the effects of TBI on spinal cord centers are poorly understood. We seek to determine the influence of TBI on the spinal cord and the potential of dietary omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids to counteract these effects.

Male rodents exposed to diets containing adequate or deficient levels of n-3 since gestation received a moderate fluid percussion injury when becoming 14 weeks old.

TBI reduced levels of molecular systems important for synaptic plasticity (BDNF, TrkB, and CREB) and plasma membrane homeostasis (4-HNE, iPLA2, syntaxin-3) in the lumbar spinal cord.

These effects of TBI were more dramatic in the animals exposed to the n-3 deficient diet. Results emphasize the comprehensive action of TBI across the neuroaxis, and the critical role of dietary n-3 as a means to build resistance against the effects of TBI.

This study was conducted using Nordic Naturals ProDHA™/DHA

PMID: 23300842 (Gomez-Pinilla)

See following website for full manuscript.