Preventing Brain Damage After TBI Using a Novel Therapy

by Mohamed Fathima S on  July 17, 2019 at 11:05 AM Research News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

An experimental treatment reduced the damage that occurred after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in mice almost to the levels of mice that never had a TBI. The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.
Preventing Brain Damage After TBI Using a Novel Therapy
Preventing Brain Damage After TBI Using a Novel Therapy

The scientists hope to convert the discovery into a simple and effective treatment for use in emergency rooms or by first responders shortly after a TBI has occurred in military and civilian settings. Currently, no treatment options exist for TBI patients.

Show Full Article


"After a traumatic brain injury, about 40% of mice experience a seizure within one week, and many continue to experience seizures for years, leading to epilepsy disease," said study senior author Mark S. Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of cellular and integrative physiology at UT Health San Antonio. "This closely parallels what happens in human patients, followed by cognitive dysfunction and changes in emotional state."

Damaging effects

After a TBI, dangerous inflammation occurs throughout the brain, causing nerve cells to die and the blood-brain barrier, which is critical to maintaining normal brain function, to break down, said lead author Fabio A. Vigil, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Shapiro's lab.

Preventing abnormal electrical activity

The novel therapy increases the activity of "M-type" KCNQ potassium ion channels, which are proteins that can halt uncontrolled electrical currents in nerve cells. Abnormal currents begin immediately after a TBI, even before a seizure has a chance to occur, and the therapy aims to counteract this, thus nipping in the bud this destructive chain of events.

"No seizures were observed in the treated mice whatsoever," Dr. Vigil said.

Neurologist's perspective

"We need treatments that alter some of the disabling consequences of TBI," said study co-author Jose E. Cavazos, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist and epilepsy specialist at UT Health San Antonio. "Current antiseizure medications don't prevent the development of post-traumatic epilepsy. Our study examined this critically important therapeutic gap, and proposes a novel pharmacological intervention shortly after TBI that might prevent post-traumatic epilepsy."

If such a therapy can be developed, it would be a game-changer for patients, Dr. Cavazos said. Approximately 6% of all epilepsy cases are caused by head trauma.

"Think about the possibility of taking a medication shortly after the injury and preventing disabling epileptic seizures months to years later," Dr. Cavazos said.

Post-trauma impact

Study co-author Robert Brenner, Ph.D., of UT Health San Antonio, provided expertise in seizures and seizure monitoring. He said the study's most important finding is that reducing excess electrical activity in the central nervous system via a therapy such as this has beneficial post-trauma effects that extend well beyond action as an anticonvulsant. These effects include reducing dangerous inflammation and widespread cell death.

Ongoing and future research

This therapeutic approach is being evaluated for its suitability in humans, Dr. Shapiro said. This includes assessments of its chemical properties, stability, and effects on other organs such as the heart.

Future directions are to test newly developed compounds that have similar action to the compound used in this study, but with highly increased potency and selectivity for KCNQ potassium ion channels in the brain.



Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Recommended Reading

More News on:

Coma Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Reiki and Pranic Healing Brain Brain Facts Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive