According to an article published in the Jan-Mar 2011 issue .peer-reviewed Journal of Psychoactive Drugs,researchers at the neuropsychiatric clinic at UC Irvine School of Medicine found that “the deleterious effects of traumatic brain injury in American football players can be mitigated using a natural regimen, including ginko,and fish oil.” Results of the study found that this “could possibly help reverse brain damage in contact sport athletes, alcohol and drug addicts, as well as in patients suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and people who have had brain damage from concussions.”
The researchers involved identified 30 veteran football players who showed symptoms of traumatic brain injury from years of contact sports. All patients were supplemented with 55.6 graqms of fish oils per day, a multiple-vitamin, and the following brain enhancing nutrients; Ginkgo and Vinpocetine to enhance blood flow to the brain, ALCAR and Huperzine A to increase the level of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter necessary for learning and memory), plus NAC and ALA (powerful brain antioxidants) on average for six-months.
In addition, the subjects started a "brain-healthy protocol" that also included:regular exercise, revision of diet and weight loss if needed, limited alcohol use, eliminating drugs and cigarettes and getting sufficient sleep.
After an average of six months, the players were re-tested and found to have statistically significant improvement in their brain functioning showing increases in scores of attention, memory, reasoning, information processing speed and accuracy in the Microcog test (a battery of tests for cognitive functions). The brain SPECT scans showed better circulation.
Note: Readers suffering from head injuries should consult with their doctors before considering any new health regimen and to see if the above study results might apply to their specific cases before taking any herbal supplements that many interact with medications already prescribed.