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Scientists issue a call to action for TBI patients to benefit from latest neuroscience findings

Brain Trauma

Cred­it: Julie McMa­hon


Brain-injured patients need ther­a­pies based on cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science (U. Illi­nois press release):

Patients with trau­mat­ic brain injuries are not ben­e­fit­ing from recent advances in cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science research — and they should be, sci­en­tists report in a spe­cial issue of Cur­rent Opin­ion in Behav­ioral Sci­ences.

Those who treat brain-injured patients rarely make use of new sci­en­tif­ic dis­cov­er­ies about the work­ings of the brain. Instead, doc­tors, nurs­es and emer­gency per­son­nel rely on a decades-old tool, the Glas­gow coma scale, to cat­e­go­rize brain injuries as mild, mod­er­ate or severe.

(Instead) He and his col­leagues pro­pose that doc­tors take a deep­er look at the brain net­works that enable the reg­u­la­tion and con­trol of atten­tion, mem­o­ry and thought — termed “cog­ni­tive con­trol process­es” — and use this knowl­edge to devel­op more tar­get­ed treat­ment strate­gies.”

Paper: Net­work topol­o­gy and dynam­ics in trau­mat­ic brain injury (Cur­rent Opin­ion in Behav­ioral Sci­ences)

  • We pro­pose a net­work approach to clin­i­cal trans­la­tion that defines core behav­ioral phe­no­types of trau­mat­ic brain injury (TBI) with respect to dam­age to spe­cif­ic intrin­sic con­nec­tiv­i­ty net­works (ICNs). We sur­vey recent approach­es to clin­i­cal trans­la­tion from cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science that enhance net­work func­tion and recov­ery from brain injury through inter­ven­tions that deliv­er tar­get­ed (net­work spe­cif­ic) and glob­al (sys­temic) effects. A net­work approach pro­vides insight into the mech­a­nisms of brain injury, link­ing ICN char­ac­ter­is­tics to spe­cif­ic pro­files of cog­ni­tive impair­ment, pro­vid­ing key neu­ro­bi­o­log­i­cal tar­gets for ther­a­peu­tic inter­ven­tion, and moti­vat­ing new per­spec­tives about the nature of cog­ni­tive recov­ery and reha­bil­i­ta­tion in TBI.

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