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Modeling traumatic brain injury: mechanisms of early neuronal and axon degeneration in the infant rodent brain

Krikor Dikranian

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a major health challenge and affects the young disproportionately. Accidental and non-accidental TBI in children is a major contributor to morbidity, disability, and death. TBI in this critical period leads to profound neuronal and axonal degeneration followed by cognitive, psychological and memory impairment, altered processing speed, impaired executive functions, emotional liability as well as word finding difficulties. Cognitive and behavioral changes may remain unrecognized for periods even after sustaining mild injury. Although accidental and non-accidental inflicted injury (blunt force or violent shaking-inflicting brain injury or “Shaken baby” syndrome) posits a major clinical and sociological problem, mechanisms of tissue degeneration might be largely similar. The scope of this review will be the experimental research related to modeling blunt (concussive) head trauma specifically to the infant rodent brain resulting in acute (early) and protracted (late) degenerative changes such as axonal degeneration and apoptotic neuronal cell death. Similarly, discussion will be limited to therapeutic windows and potentials for ameliorating the development of early brain injury.

Keywords

traumatic brain injury, excitotoxic cell death, apoptotic cell death, axonal injury

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/bmr.v30.6385

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About The Author

Krikor Dikranian
Department of Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
United States

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