An often-unrecognized wound
External signs and symptoms of TBI are not always present or can go unnoticed in stressful situations such as war, car accidents or many sport-related injuries. Because the skull is a defined space, there is no place to expand. Edema pushes the brain aside, placing pressure on the neurons and tissues.
Injury that lingers
"Undiagnosed traumatic brain injuries are time bombs," Dr. Lechleiter said. "This injury continues in the brain. Sometimes, people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand why they are having problems and what their problems are, which can make them nervous and upset. In the case of soldiers wounded in war, the trauma happens in Afghanistan, but you carry it home."
Support for this research program is from the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Lechleiter is now working with the Center for Innovation in Drug Discovery, a joint center of the Health Science Center and The University of Texas at San Antonio, to refine and further develop robust purinergic receptor-based medications for people with TBI.
Once the significant pre-clinical studies that need to be done are completed, promising drugs that stimulate this caretaker pathway will then be entered into Phase I clinical trials to begin the process of evaluating their therapeutic potential and safety in people. Most often, this phase of development is done in partnership with the pharmaceutical in
|Contact: Will Sansom|
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio