Researchers at the Roskamp Institute have new studies that could lead to better diagnosis and eventual treatment for U.S. military personnel as well as other patients with TBI, commonly known as traumatic brain injuries.
Fiona Crawford, Ph.D., associate director of the Institute, a leading research facility for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders says, “We have found that there are changes in blood proteins that occur after a head injury, and that these are dependent on the severity of the injury, the time since the injury and genetic factors influencing outcomes after head injury.” Crawford’s research indicates that TBI can affect cellular mechanisms in the brain long after the original trauma, and that blood biomarkers reflect these ongoing processes. She also stated, “Translating these finding from the laboratory to human patients may help clinicians determine the extent of the brain injury, how long ago the injury occurred and the patient’s prognosis for a favorable or a poor outcome.”
Traumatic brain injury has multiple consequences at the cellular level and so molecular changes can persist for weeks and months after the initial brain swelling and other immediate issues have resolved. Crawford says, “Identifying blood biomarkers of mild TBI would improve medical management by enabling us to identify patients who need treatment or intervention, even if they do not have obvious signs of a brain injury.” The U.S. Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration supports all of Crawford’s work because it could lead to better diagnosis of military personnel with mild brain injuries and better long-term care of our veterans.
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