Identifying Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Traumatic Brain Injury

Identifying the fundamental mechanisms that produce brain dysfunction in TBI to develop new therapeutic approaches for treatments

Full Project Name:Identifying Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Traumatic Brain Injury: A path to novel therapeutic optionsPrincipal Investigator:Amadou K. Camara, PhD, AnesthesiologyCo-Investigator:Wai-Meng Kwok, PhD, Anesthesiology; Christopher Pawela, PhD, Anesthesiology; Bin Pan, PhD, AnesthesiologyAward Amount:$1,000,000
Award Date
Project Duration:60 months

Project Description Narrative:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant clinical problem, both in Wisconsin and nationally. Approximately 1.7 million TBI cases are reported each year in the United States. Of this total, 70-90% are considered to be brain concussions (i.e. mild traumatic brain injury, mTBI). This condition is most common in males and in young adults and teenagers and is often related to sports activity and risk-taking. Falls and motor vehicle collisions are other common causes.

In Wisconsin, the incidence of sports-related mTBI averages over 400 a year. Additional cases result from outdoor recreational sports typical in Wisconsin, such as snowmobiling and off-roading with ATVs. An important characteristic of sports-related mTBI is the potential for repeated injuries over the course of an athletic event, a season, or even a lifetime. Therefore, mTBI has been recognized as a major public health concern with significant socioeconomic consequences. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to lasting impairment after moderate head injury such as falls or sport injuries.

This project seeks to identify the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that produce brain dysfunction in TBI, in order to develop new therapeutic approaches for treating TBI.

Project Updates:

• Completed evaluation of anesthetic and determined appropriate protocol

• Conducted initial experiments to validate and standardize injury model

• Began work to develop, improve, and validate existing magnetic resonance methodologies for detecting metabolic changes in rat brain

• Made significant progress to develop, optimize, and validate mitochondrial isolation procedures from rat brains

• Successfully isolated synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria from naive rat brain and tested their functions

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