TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND CONDUCTION DEFICITS OF WHITE MATTER PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

We are involved in a study that investigates the important problem of axonopathy and integrity of axon-myelin interactions after traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is a significant issue in TBI, as these patients often display slowed information processing and cognitive impairment – functional deficits that can contribute to persistent neurological and psychological symptoms after injury. These questions were investigated at the cellular level in a mouse model of concussive TBI, which produces traumatic axonal injury in the corpus callosum - among other white matter and gray matter regions. This model and this white matter pathology reproduces findings in human TBI cases. Importantly, so far most of the TBI studies that have analyzed the consequences of injury at the cellular level have focused on neuronal soma or dendrites, rather than specifically on axons and their anatomical and functional relationship with myelin. For a number of reasons, this is an important and timely study. Firstly, white matter and axon-myelin and axon-​oligodendrocyte interactions are largely understudied in TBI - which is a significant gap in the field. Secondly, it identifies different phases of the axonal pathology - from acute to chronic. Thirdly, it defines a potential time window for intervention and emphasizes the importance of an axon-targeted therapeutic strategy. In summary, this study is highly significant and highly innovative. The results defines a progression in cellular and axon-myelin pathology in the corpus that could underlie different phases of functional and cognitive impairment observed in early and late phases of recovery after TBI.

 

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USU Office of Research

 

 

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ongoing research projects

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student publication in the last 5 years

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faculty publications 3 different journals in the last 5 years