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Resuscitation technique after brain injury may do more harm than good
Date:6/30/2008

s briefly deprived mice of oxygen, then gave them either 100 percent oxygen or room air, which contains about 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent other gases.

After 72 hours, mice given 100 percent oxygen fared worse than those given room air. For example, they experienced a more disrupted pattern of myelination and developed a motor deficit that mimicked cerebral palsy.

The population of immature glial cells also diminished, suggesting that the animals would have trouble replacing the myelin in the long term.

"We wanted to determine whether recovery in 100 percent oxygen after this sort of brain injury would exacerbate neuronal injury and impair functional recovery, and in these animals, it did impair recovery," Dr. Kernie said. "Our research shows even brief exposure to 100 percent oxygen during resuscitation actually worsens white-matter injuries."

Dr. Kernie said adding pure oxygen to the damaged brain increases a process called oxidative stress, caused by the formation of highly reactive molecules. The researchers found, however, that administering an antioxidant, which halts the harmful oxidation process, reversed the damage in the mice given 100 percent oxygen.

"Further research is needed to determine the best possible concentration of oxygen to use for optimal recovery and to limit secondary brain injury," Dr. Kernie said. "Research is now being done to determine the best way to monitor this sort of brain damage in humans so we can understand how it correlates to the mouse models. There are many emerging noninvasive technologies that can monitor the brain."


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Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
erin.pratherstafford@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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