New Insights Into the Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
Findings expose long-term consequences and differences between genders and age groups
CHICAGO — Research released today reveals new discoveries about the symptoms, physiology, and treatment options for traumatic brain injury (TBI). The animal studies also highlight differences in how TBI may manifest in males and females and among children and adults. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2015, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
Traumatic brain injury affects 1.7 million Americans each year. The majority of cases are caused by impacts during contact sports and traffic accidents or by blasts from explosive devices on the battlefield. The effects of even mild TBI can include loss of consciousness, long-term memory problems, and increased risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Today’s new findings show that:
- Male and female mice display different long-term consequences of mild TBI, a finding that supports the development of gender-specific treatment options (Ramesh Raghupathi, abstract 500.03, see attached summary).
- Blast injury increases fear behaviors in mice, suggesting a link between TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder (Carmen Lin, abstract 589.09, see attached summary).
- A combination of drugs given several hours post-injury produces cognitive benefits in two rodent models of TBI, providing a more clinically useful therapeutic window (Michael Ayo Sangobowale, abstract 500.11, see attached summary).
Other recent findings discussed show that:
- TBI in juvenile mice disrupts inhibitory signaling during brain development, suggesting pediatric brain injuries may have different consequences — and require different treatments — than injuries to the adult brain (Trent Anderson, presentation 43.18, see attached speaker summary).
“Today’s findings show the progress we’ve made in understanding TBI,” said press conference moderator Akiva Cohen, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, an expert in brain injury. “By better understanding aspects of TBI — like gender and age differences — we can create treatments that are better targeted to the distinct problems in different populations of people.”
This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as other private and philanthropic organizations. Find out more about traumatic brain injury at BrainFacts.org.