Traumatic Brain Injury
A significant proportion of spinal cord injured people also have a traumatic brain injury. A team of researchers at The Miami Project study the pathological changes in the brain after injury because many mechanisms of injury are common to both traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Successful therapies for brain injury are showing potential for spinal cord injury.
An active area of investigation is directed at understanding the inflammatory changes that occur in the early stages after traumatic brain injury and how this develops into a chronic neuronal loss. Using molecular biology, biochemical, and electrophysiological techniques, researchers are identifying the biochemical changes that produce damage in the brain or spinal cord. Recent exciting work has found a novel therapeutic intervention for the treatment of post-traumatic epilepsy; mild to moderate hypothermia therapy reduced seizure susceptibility in a preclinical animal model.
In the clinic, several trials are planned that involve people with new traumatic brain injury, including one that is testing whether a blood supplement (Oxycyte) that delivers high levels of oxygen to the injured brain will improve outcome.