Individuals who are hospitalized for brain injuries sometimes develop infections because their condition tends to suppress the immune system and induce inflammation in the body.
Researchers at the North Sichuan Medical College and Hospital in China conducted a study to determine whether supplementing these individuals with probiotics could help reduce rates of infection among traumatic brain injury patients.
They discovered that when probiotic bacteria were administered through an intravenous feeding tube over a 15-day period, individuals experienced fewer markers of inflammation and a heightened immune response when compared to a control group who received standard care.
Authors of the study said that since their sample size was small, further studies may be needed to support the use of probiotics in traumatic brain injury patients, as their final results may not be considered clinically significant.
“However probiotic therapy reduced the number of infections occurring after seven days, reduced the number of different antibiotics needed to treat infections, and shortened the length of time the patients were required to stay in ICU,” said study supervisor Jing-Ci Zhu.
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