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Understanding the impact of concussions on the brain

brainconcussionNIHWhat a concussion looks like inside your brain (PBS):

  • “But what happens to the brain right after a concussion? Researchers at the National Institute of Health peered into the brains of mice and watched how a traumatic brain injury progresses over a day. Their findings, published in the journal Nature this week, showed that a single concussion can cause cell death in the brain in a matter of hours…This damage was the result of a single injury, similar to what LaTour had observed in patients coming to the emergency room after car accidents or falling 6 feet from a ladder. The injury isn’t fatal, but the concussion leaves a scar on your brain. Our bodies don’t replace dead neurons, McGavern said. Your brain can compensate for it, and work around it, but it will never be the same…The most important lesson from this experiment, McGavern said, is that when it comes to dealing with a traumatic brain injury, every minute counts.”

Study: Transcranial amelioration of inflammation and cell death after brain injury (Nature)

  • Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasingly appreciated to be highly prevalent and deleterious to neurological function. At present, no effective treatment options are available, and little is known about the complex cellular response to TBI during its acute phase. To gain insights into TBI pathogenesis, we developed a novel murine closed-skull brain injury model that mirrors some pathological features associated with mild TBI in humans and used long-term intravital microscopy to study the dynamics of the injury response from its inception. Here we demonstrate that acute brain injury induces vascular damage, meningeal cell death, and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that ultimately breach the glial limitans and promote spread of the injury into the parenchyma…Our results shed light on the acute cellular response to TBI and provide a means to locally deliver therapeutic compounds to the site of injury.

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