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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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Assessment of Necroptosis Acutely Following Traumatic Brain Injury

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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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2022-05