Diet’s Impact on Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Depression: Exploring Neurodegeneration, Chronic Blood–Brain Barrier Destruction, and Glutamate Neurotoxicity Mechanisms

Matthew Boyko, Benjamin F. Gruenbaum, Anna Oleshko, Igor Merzlikin, Alexander Zlotnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a profound impact on cognitive and mental functioning, leading to lifelong impairment and significantly diminishing the quality of life for affected individuals. A healthy blood–brain barrier (BBB) plays a crucial role in guarding the brain against elevated levels of blood glutamate, making its permeability a vital aspect of glutamate regulation within the brain. Studies have shown the efficacy of reducing excess glutamate in the brain as a treatment for post-TBI depression, anxiety, and aggression. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the involvement of dietary glutamate in the development of depression after TBI. We performed a literature search to examine the effects of diets abundant in glutamate, which are common in Asian populations, when compared to diets low in glutamate, which are prevalent in Europe and America. We specifically explored these effects in the context of chronic BBB damage after TBI, which may initiate neurodegeneration and subsequently have an impact on depression through the mechanism of chronic glutamate neurotoxicity. A glutamate-rich diet leads to increased blood glutamate levels when contrasted with a glutamate-poor diet. Within the context of chronic BBB disruption, elevated blood glutamate levels translate to heightened brain glutamate concentrations, thereby intensifying neurodegeneration due to glutamate neurotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4681
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • blood–brain barrier
  • depression
  • diet
  • glutamate
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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