Is there a period of increased vulnerability for repeat traumatic brain injury?

January 10, 2013

New Rochelle, NY, January 10, 2013--Repeat traumatic brain injury affects a subgroup of the 3.5 million people who suffer head trauma each year. Even a mild repeat TBI that occurs when the brain is still recovering from an initial injury can result in poorer outcomes, especially in children and young adults. A metabolic marker that could serve as the basis for new mild TBI vulnerability guidelines is described in an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website at http://www.liebertpub.com/neu.

In an Editorial, "The Window of Risk in Repeated Head Injury," accompanying this article, John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, VCU Neuroscience Center, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, states that recent studies of TBI in animal models have shown that while repeat injury can exacerbate structural, functional, metabolic, and behavioral responses, "these responses only occur when the injury is repeated within a specific time frame post-injury."

"Specifically, this window of risk is greatest when the interval between injuries is short, hours to days, while any risk for increased damage is obviated when the intervals between injuries are elongated over days to weeks," says Dr. Povlishock. It is not yet clear if these time periods of increased risk are age- or gender-specific or depend on the intensity of the initial injury.

A consistent finding following TBI in both humans and animal models is a decrease in glucose uptake by the brain. Mayumi Prins, Daya Alexander, Christopher Giza, and David Hovda, The UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, Los Angeles, CA, simulated single and repeat (after 1 or 5 days) mild TBI in rats and measured cerebral glucose metabolism. They tested the hypothesis that the rats' brains would be more vulnerable to the damaging effects of repeat TBI at 1 day post-injury, when glucose metabolism was still decreased, than at 5 days, when it had returned to normal levels.

In the article, "Repeat Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Mechanisms of Cerebral Vulnerability," the authors propose that the duration of metabolic slowdown in the brain could serve as a valuable biomarker for how long a child might be at increased risk of repeat TBI.
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About the Journal

Journal of Neurotrauma is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published 24 times per year in print and online that focuses on the latest advances in the clinical and laboratory investigation of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Emphasis is on the basic pathobiology of injury to the nervous system, and the papers and reviews evaluate preclinical and clinical trials targeted at improving the early management and long-term care and recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma is the Official Journal of the National Neurotrauma Society and the International Neurotrauma Society. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Neurotrauma website at http://www.liebertpub.com/neu.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, Population Health Management, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, and Journal of Women's Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 70 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website at http://www.liebertpub.com.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215 www.liebertpub.com

Phone (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax (914) 740-2101

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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