The Relationship between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Due to Brain Injury and Glutamate Intake: A Systematic Review

Benjamin F. Gruenbaum, Alexander Zlotnik, Anna Oleshko, Frederic Matalon, Honore N. Shiyntum, Amit Frenkel, Matthew Boyko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests a connection between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the exact mechanism is unknown, we hypothesize that chronic glutamate neurotoxicity may play a role. The consumption of dietary glutamate is a modifiable factor influencing glutamate levels in the blood and, therefore, in the brain. In this systematic review, we explored the relationship between dietary glutamate and the development of post-TBI PTSD. Of the 1748 articles identified, 44 met the inclusion criteria for analysis in this review. We observed that individuals from countries with diets traditionally high in glutamate had greater odds of developing PTSD after TBI (odds ratio = 15.2, 95% confidence interval 11.69 to 19.76, p < 0.01). These findings may support the hypothesis that chronically elevated blood glutamate concentrations caused by high dietary intake invoke neurodegeneration processes that could ultimately result in PTSD. Further studies will clarify whether lowering glutamate via diet would be an effective strategy in preventing or treating post-TBI PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number901
JournalNutrients
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • blood–brain barrier
  • diet
  • glutamate
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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