Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) still remains a difficult disorder to treat. TBI has been associated to chronic neuroinflammation and a high risk for neurodegenerative disorders. Since 2001 between ten to twenty percent of all deployed military members have suffered a combat-related TBI. Nearly twenty to thirty percent of those will experience chronic cognitive, behavioral and somatic symptoms after suffering a TBI.
: The objective of this review is to evaluate current literature examining vitamin D as a neurosteroid with protective properties and its clinical relevance after traumatic brain injury. Vitamin D is known to participate in neurobiological processes and genomic regulation in the brain. Clinical and laboratory findings support that vitamin D modulates the immune responses to trauma, diminishes oxidative and toxic damage, and inhibiting activation and progression of the neuroinflammation. Inadequate levels of vitamin D have been identified as a common risk factor for many neurological disorders and have been linked to poorer recovery.
Results: This review found compelling evidence to support that the pathology of TBI is closely associated with neuroprotective mechanisms of vitamin D. Low vitamin D levels are common among US active duty military and veterans. The findings strongly suggest that optimizing vitamin D prior to injury could improve the recovery for military members after experiencing a TBI. Vitamin D ameliorates brain damage by modulating neuroinflammation, improving cell survival and down-regulating mechanisms involved in the progression of cell damage following a TBI. However, further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of vitamin D optimization in TBI outcomes.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair

Chase, Susan K.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing




Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

August 2016