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Microglial activation in the amygdala following traumatic brain injury

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Neuroinflammation is an important secondary injury response occurring after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anxiety-like disorders are commonly exacerbated after TBI and are mediated through the amygdala; however, the amygdala remains understudied despite its important contribution in processing emotional and stressful

Neuroinflammation is an important secondary injury response occurring after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anxiety-like disorders are commonly exacerbated after TBI and are mediated through the amygdala; however, the amygdala remains understudied despite its important contribution in processing emotional and stressful stimuli. Therefore, we wanted to study neuroinflammation after experimental TBI using midline fluid percussion in rodent models. We assessed microglia morphology over time post-injury in two circuit related nuclei of the amygdala, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and central amygdala of the nucleus (CeA), using skeletal analysis. We also looked at silver staining and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) to evaluate the role of neuropathology and astrocytosis to evaluate for neuroinflammation in the amygdala. We hypothesized that experimental diffuse TBI leads to microglial activation in the BLA-CeA circuitry over time post-injury due to changes in microglial morphology and increased astrocytosis in the absence of neuropathology. Microglial cell count was found to decrease in the BLA at 1 DPI before returning to sham levels by 28 DPI. No change was found in the CeA. Microglial ramification (process length/cell and endpoints/cell) was found to decrease at 1DPI compared to sham in the CeA, but not in the BLA. Silver staining and GFAP immunoreactivity did not find any evidence of neurodegeneration or activated astrocytes in the respectively. Together, these data indicate that diffuse TBI does not necessarily lead to the same microglial response in the amygdala nuclei, although an alternative mechanism for a neuroinflammatory response in the CeA likely contributes to the widespread neuronal and circuit dysfunction that occurs after TBI.

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2018-05

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A Case Study: Speech recognition ability in noise for a U.S. military veteran with traumatic brain injury (TBI)

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The increase of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) cases in recent war history has increased the urgency of research regarding how veterans are affected by TBIs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of TBI on speech recognition

The increase of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) cases in recent war history has increased the urgency of research regarding how veterans are affected by TBIs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of TBI on speech recognition in noise. The AzBio Sentence Test was completed for signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) from -10 dB to +15 dB for a control group of ten participants and one US military veteran with history of service-connected TBI. All participants had normal hearing sensitivity defined as thresholds of 20 dB or better at frequencies from 250-8000 Hz in addition to having tympanograms within normal limits. Comparison of the data collected on the control group versus the veteran suggested that the veteran performed worse than the majority of the control group on the AzBio Sentence Test. Further research with more participants would be beneficial to our understanding of how veterans with TBI perform on speech recognition tests in the presence of background noise.

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2015-05

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Peg Forest Rehabilitation Mitigates the Onset of Injury-Induced Cognitive Disability in Juvenile Rats

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—sudden impact or acceleration trauma to the head—is a major cause of death and disability worldwide and is particularly amplified in pediatric cases. TBI is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children and adolescents. Adolescence

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—sudden impact or acceleration trauma to the head—is a major cause of death and disability worldwide and is particularly amplified in pediatric cases. TBI is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children and adolescents. Adolescence is a critical time where the brain undergoes cognitive development and brain injury-induced disruptions to these processes can lead to life-long debilitating morbidities. The aim of this study was to determine if exercising spatial and contextual memory circuits using a novel rehabilitation strategy called Peg Forest Rehabilitation (PFR) could mitigate the onset of injury-induced cognitive deficits in juvenile rats subjected to diffuse TBI. The PFR aims to synthesize neuroplasticity-based enrichment to improve cognitive outcomes after TBI. We hypothesized that PFR treatment would mitigate the onset of brain injury-induced cognitive deficits and reduce neuroinflammation. Juvenile male Sprague-Dawley rats (post-natal day 35) were subjected to diffuse traumatic brain injury via midline fluid percussion injury or a control surgery. One-week post-injury, rats were exposed to PFR or cage control exploration (15 min/day). PFR allowed free navigation through random configuration of the peg-filled arena for 10 days over 2 weeks. Control rats remained in home cages in the center of the arena with the peg-board removed for 15 min/day/10 days. One-week post-rehabilitation (one-month post-injury), cognitive performance was assessed for short-term (novel object recognition; NOR), long-term (novel location recognition; NLR), and working (temporal order recognition; TOR) memory performance, calculated as a discrimination index between novel and familiar objects. Tissue was collected for immunohistochemistry and stained for ionized calcium binding proteins (Iba-1) to visualize microglia morphology, and somatostatin. PFR attenuated TBI-induced deficits on the NOR task, where the TBI-PFR treatment group spent significantly more time with the novel object compared with the familiar (*p=0.0046). Regardless of rehabilitation, brain-injured rats had hyper-ramified microglia in the hypothalamus indicated by longer branch lengths and more endpoints per cell compared with uninjured shams. Analysis of somatostatin data is ongoing. In this study, passive, intermittent PFR that involved dynamic, novel spatial navigation, prevented TBI-induced cognitive impairment in adolescent rats. Spatial navigation training may have clinical efficacy and should be further investigated.

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2020-05