DHA May Protect Against Sub Clinical Brain Damage in Sports

Feb 14, 2022

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 14, 2022 – There may be a new player in the battle to deal with traumatic brain injuries. The secret is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that may stave off the effects of sub-concussion – the quiet, yet potentially deadly first step in the process that may later lead to full blown traumatic brain injury.

Sub-concussion is not always noticed during play on the field. Most players, coaches and fans just watch the game, and cheer when the opponents sustain a body blow, knocking them to the ground. The player gets up and keeps playing.

In that fraction of a second, the player knocked down has suffered a sub-concussion, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that does not present with the symptoms and signs of concussion. Those sub-concussions play a critical role in the risk for developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). “Sports play a major role in our lives,” said Austin brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke, “and information like this can help players stay healthy.”

Football is not the only sport where mishaps like body blows happen. They happen in basketball, soccer, rugby, hockey, baseball and other sports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports/recreation concussions happen every year in the U.S. There is no way to measure the number of sub-concussions because of the nature of the injury.

To help with this problem, researchers at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virgina Tech are studying to see how docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, may protect the brain from trauma. This is interesting because DHA, which is frequently found in seafood, is typically inadequate in college student’s diets. The researchers chose football players because of the repeated head impacts that occur in a game and a season.

While DHA has been shown to be effective in reducing TBI in mice, there is, as yet, no data indicating if that would translate well to humans. The goal of the study is to identify a diet or supplement strategy that athletes could follow to protect their brains.

So far, the research and analysis of the results to date have been promising, showing that the DHA did make a difference in those players who took it.

“The outlook for the future of TBI in sports looks to be encouraging,” added Schuelke. “That said, there are cases where players were not adequately warned of the dangers, they face playing their chosen sport. If this has happened to you, or a family member, reach out and discuss your case with me.”

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