Concussion discovery reveals unknown effects of severe, mild brain injuries


Researchers at the UVA School of Medicine, John Lukens, PhD, and Ashley Bolt have discovered that concealer and traumatic brain injuries, even when mild, cause inflammation that blocks the brain’s ability to clean up harmful toxins and debris. Huh. Credit: Dan Edison / UVA Health

Even mild concussions cause severe and long-lasting impairment in the brain’s ability to clear toxins, and may seed for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other neurodegenerative problems, Virginia School of Medicine New research reveals.

The discovery provides important insights into traumatic brain injury (TBI), a poorly understood condition that has become a major public concern, particularly for sports and the military. The findings help explain why TBI is so harmful and why it can have effects for so long. Research also suggests that some patients are at greater risk of deterioration of brain function later in life, and this paves the way for newer and better treatments.

“It provides the best evidence that if you do not recover from a brain injury and you suffer a head injury again, you are going to have even more serious consequences,” John Lukens, Ph.D., UVA’s Department of Neuroscience and Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG). “This reinforces the idea that you have to give people the opportunity to heal. And if you don’t, you’re putting yourself at a much higher risk for long-term results that you don’t see in a year But can see for a few decades. ”

New understanding of TBI

Lukens’ research identifies a previously unknown outcome of TBI that may have long-lasting effects. When the brain is swollen, it presses against the skull; There are small lymphatic vessels trapped in the middle that clean the brain. This pressure on the vessels, the UVA researchers found, causes severe and long-lasting weakness of the brain’s ability to self-purify toxicity. Working with laboratory mice, one of the best models of TBI available, scientists found that the loss could last for at least two weeks – a longer time for mice – and possibly much longer.

Concussion discovery reveals unknown effects of severe, mild brain injuries

The finding of John Lukens, PhD, and Ashley Bolt of UVA helps explain why recurrent brain injuries are so damaging and suggest that they increase the risk of long-term problems. It also gives a reason that different people are affected differently due to beheading. Credit: Dan Edison / UVA Communications

These lymphatic vessels were identified in 2015 by Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, and his colleagues at UVA. By then, medical textbooks had insisted that the vessels did not exist and that the brain was ‘immune privileged’, meaning it did not interact with it. Immune system. Kipnis’ discovery changed all that, and he has determined that ships play a key role in both Alzheimer’s and the cognitive decline that comes with age.

He has now emerged as an important player in TBI. “We know that traumatic brain injury carries an increased risk for a bunch of long-term issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy], And it has actually been made extra public due to the NFL, “Researcher Ashley C. Bollette, an MD / D. D. student.” Then there is also anxiety, depression, suicide. The reasons for the increased risk of TB are not fully known, and we think why our findings may provide a mechanism. ”

People most at risk

Research suggests that people who have pre-existing problems with brain drainage are likely to suffer much more serious consequences from TBI, either from prior findings or naturally. In mice, it leads to brain inflammation and worse outcomes, including memory loss. “If you have a pre-existing kink in the pipe and you bump into the head, everything is taken to a higher level – the effect on memory, neuroinflammation,” Lukens said. “It has a lot of implications.”

Emerging imaging technology eventually makes it possible for doctors to identify those who will suffer the greatest consequences of TBI. More good news: Lukens also believes that doctors may one day be able to rejuvenate impaired lymphatic vessels with drugs to improve patients’ outcomes and possibly prevent long-term consequences. (It may also prove useful in the fight against naturally occurring cognitive decline with age.)

In addition, Lukens said, it may eventually be possible for doctors to evaluate brain drainage after injury, when it is determined that it is safest for patients to return to action.

“Right now, we don’t really know what to say to these kids who want to get back on the field, or even members of the military,” Lukens said. “It will be important to say that you can experience whether or not you can continue those things again.”


Brain Discovery Sources Lifelong Behavioral Issues


more information:
Ashley C. Bolte et al, meningeal lymphatic dysfunction, traumatic brain injury pathogenesis, Nature communication (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-020-18113-4

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