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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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Self-Reported Cognitive Symptoms in Military Veteran College Students

Description

An increasing number of military veterans are enrolling in college, primarily due to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans who served on active duty since September 11, 2001. With rigorous training, active combat situations, and exposure

An increasing number of military veterans are enrolling in college, primarily due to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans who served on active duty since September 11, 2001. With rigorous training, active combat situations, and exposure to unexpected situations, the veteran population is at a higher risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depression. All of these conditions are associated with cognitive consequences, including attention deficits, working memory problems, and episodic memory impairments. Some conditions, particularly mild TBI, are not diagnosed or treated until long after the injury when the person realizes they have cognitive difficulties. Even mild cognitive problems can hinder learning in an academic setting, but there is little data on the frequency and severity of cognitive deficits in veteran college students. The current study examines self-reported cognitive symptoms in veteran students compared to civilian students and how those symptoms relate to service-related conditions. A better understanding of the pattern of self-reported symptoms will help researchers and clinicians determine the veterans who are at higher risk for cognitive and academic difficulties.

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Date Created
2016-05

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

Description

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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Continuous Enzymatic Detection of Traumatic Brain Injury

Description

My main goal for my thesis is in conjunction with the research I started in the summer of 2010 regarding the creation of a TBI continuous-time sensor. Such goals include: characterizing the proteins in sensing targets while immobilized, while free in solution, and while in free solution in the blood.

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Date Created
2011-12

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

Description

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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Date Created
2020-05

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FIRMA: Force Impact Recognition Mouth Guard for Athletes, a Validation Study

Description

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are mechanical events which can derive from no specific activity or event. However, these injuries occur often during athletic and sporting events but many athletes experiencing these symptoms go undiagnosed and continue playing without proper

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are mechanical events which can derive from no specific activity or event. However, these injuries occur often during athletic and sporting events but many athletes experiencing these symptoms go undiagnosed and continue playing without proper medical attention. The current gold standard for diagnosing athletes with concussions is to have medical professionals on the sidelines of events to perform qualitative standardized assessments which may not be performed frequently enough and are not specialized for each athlete. The purpose of this report is to discuss a study sanctioned by Arizona State University's Project HoneyBee and additional affiliations to validate a third-party mouth guard device product to recognize and detect force impacts blown to an athlete's head during athletic activity. Current technology in health monitoring medical devices can allow users to apply this device as an additional safety mechanism for early concussion awareness and diagnosis. This report includes the materials and methods used for experimentation, the discussion of its results, and the complications which occurred and areas for improvement during the preliminary efforts of this project. Participants in the study were five non-varsity ASU Wrestling athletes who volunteered to wear a third-party mouth guard device during sparring contact at practice. Following a needed calibration period for the devices, results were recorded both through visual observation and with the mouth guard devices using an accelerometer and gyroscope. This study provided a sound understanding for the operation and functionality of the mouth guard devices. The mouth guard devices have the capability to provide fundamental avenues of research for future investigations.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Assessment of Necroptosis Acutely Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Description

Annually approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) increasing the risk of developing a further neurological complication later in life [1-3]. The molecular drivers of the subsequent ensuing pathologies after the initial injury event are vast

Annually approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) increasing the risk of developing a further neurological complication later in life [1-3]. The molecular drivers of the subsequent ensuing pathologies after the initial injury event are vast and include signaling processes that may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). One such molecular signaling pathway that may link TBI to AD is necroptosis. Necroptosis is an atypical mode of cell death compared with traditional apoptosis, both of which have been demonstrated to be present post-TBI [4-6]. Necroptosis is initiated by tissue necrosis factor (TNF) signaling through the RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL pathway, leading to cell failure and subsequent death. Prior studies in rodent TBI models report necroptotic activity acutely after injury, within 48 hours. Here, the study objective was to recapitulate prior data and characterize MLKL and RIPK1 cortical expression post-TBI with our lab’s controlled cortical impact mouse model. Using standard immunohistochemistry approaches, it was determined that the tissue sections acquired by prior lab members were of poor quality to conduct robust MLKL and RIPK1 immunostaining assessment. Therefore, the thesis focused on presenting the staining method completed. The discussion also expanded on expected results from these studies regarding the spatial distribution necroptotic signaling in this TBI model.

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Date Created
2022-05

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Investigating the Relationship Between Traumatic Brain Injury Cortical Lesion Area and TDP-43 Pathologies

Description

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI has been described as a disease process that can lead to an increased risk for developing chronic neurodegenerative diseases, like frontotemporal lobar

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI has been described as a disease process that can lead to an increased risk for developing chronic neurodegenerative diseases, like frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A pathological hallmark of FTLD and a hallmark of ALS is the nuclear mislocalization of TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43). This project aims to explore neurodegenerative effects of TBI on cortical lesion area using immunohistochemical markers of TDP-43 proteinopathies. We analyzed the total percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization. We found that the percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization was significantly higher in cortical tissue following TBI when compared to the age-matched control brains. The cortical lesion area was analyzed for each injured brain sample, with respect to days post-injury (DPI), and it was found that there were no statistically significant differences between cortical lesion areas across time points. The percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization was analyzed for each cortical tissue sample, with respect to cortical lesion area, and it was found that there were no statistically significant differences between the percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization, with respect to cortical lesion area. In conclusion, we found no correlation between the percent of cortical NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization with respect to the size of the cortical lesion area.

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Date Created
2022-05