Study Examines Chronic Inflammation of Traumatic Brain Injury

Alan I Faden, M.D. David S. Brown Professor in Trauma Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurosurgery, and Neurology Director, Center for Shock, Trauma & Anesthesiology Research (STAR) University of Maryland School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alan I Faden, M.D.
David S. Brown Professor in Trauma
Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurosurgery, and Neurology
Director, Center for Shock, Trauma & Anesthesiology Research (STAR) University of Maryland School of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Faden: Accumulating clinical and pre-clinical research data indicate that traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to chronic progressive neurodegeneration. In this regard, most attention has focused on the connections between TBI and with Alzheimer disease (AD) or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). However, recent epidemiological studies raise questions about the association between TBI and AD, and CTE is likely a less common end-stage result resulting from complex pathobiological changes. In contrast, both older and newer studies underscore that traumatic brain injury can cause chronic neuroinflammation that leads to chronic neurodegeneration. In contrast to AD and CTE, the latter condition appears to be potentially treatable, even long after injury. Our paper critically assesses the mechanisms and treatment of chronic post traumatic neurodegeneration.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Faden: That chronic brain inflammation after traumatic brain injury is common, can lead to chronic neuronal cell and tissue loss, and is potentially treatable.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Faden: Examination of therapeutic strategies to attenuate post traumatic neuroinflammation, including both targeted drug treatment and delayed structured exercise.

Citation:

Chronic Neurodegeneration After Traumatic Brain Injury: Alzheimer Disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or Persistent Neuroinflammation?

Alan I. Faden, David J. Loane

Neurotherapeutics Novemeber 2014