The two most common strategies against traumatic brain injury are 1) prevention of injury and 2) reduction of secondary damage (i.e., inflammation and cell death after the primary injury. A third potential strategy focuses on the theoretical "preconditioning" of the brain to injury such that the brain becomes tolerant to the effect of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Researchers have previously focused on preconditioning for high-risk stroke patients, but newer studies have turned the spotlight on TBI in high-risk sports or elective surgeries. A recent review highlighted various preconditioning strategies such as increased exercise, heat stress, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or volatile anesthetics that all show potential for decreasing injury, as well as associated cognitive and motor impairments.With further research, preconditioning may become a viable option for reducing the effects of TBI in high-risk populations.
Shoji Y, Anna M, et al. Preconditioning for traumatic brain injury. Translational Stroke Research. (February 2013).