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Model sheds new light on sports-related brain injuries
Date:4/29/2014

d in a manner that simulates the type of mild TBI that may occur in sports or other blows to the head. The researchers evaluated the mice's performance in a series of tasks designed to measure behavior. These included tests to measure spatial and learning memory, anxiety and risk-taking behavior, the presence of depression-like behavior, sleep disturbances, and the electrical activity of their brain. The mice with repetitive mild TBI did poorly in every test and this poor performance persisted over time.

"These results resemble the spectrum of neuro-behavioral problems that have been reported and observed in individuals who have sustained multiple mild TBI and those who were subsequently diagnosed with CTE, including behaviors such as poor judgment, risk taking, and depression," said Petraglia.

Petraglia and his colleagues also used the model to examine the damage that was occurring in the brains of the mice over time. The results, which will be published in a forthcoming paper, provide insight on the interaction between the brains repair mechanisms in the forms of astrocytes and microglia and the protein tau, which can have a toxic effect when triggered by mild traumatic brain injury.

"Undoubtedly further work is needed," said Petraglia. "However, this study serves as a good starting point and it is hoped that with continued investigation this novel model will allow for a controlled, mechanistic analysis of repetitive mild TBI and CTE in the future, because it is the first to encapsulate the spectrum of this human phenomenon."


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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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