Traumatic brain injury is associated with a profound suppression of the patient's ability to fight infection. At the same time the patient also often suffers hyper-inflammation, due to the brain releasing glucocorticoids in response to the injury. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care shows that including probiotics with nutrients, supplied via the patient's feeding tube, increased interferon levels, reduced the number of infections, and even reduced the amount of time patients spent in intensive care.
In a small scale trial, based at North Sichuan Medical College and Hospital in China, 52 patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, and who were being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), were either treated as usual or had their nutrition supplemented with probiotics.
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BioMed Central - "Effects of probiotics on serum levels of Th1/Th2-cytokine and clinical outcomes in severe traumatic brain-injured patients: a prospective randomized pilot study" - (http://ccforum.com/content/15/6/R290/abstract)