Our group focuses on experimental Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We utilise several models for mild and severe TBI to investigate pathogenesis and treatment. In addition, we investigate epidemiological aspects of TBI, with a special emphasis on the underlying genetics.

Man with bandage around his head.
Photo: Pixabay

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a head impact with a force exceeding regular exposure from normal body movement which the brain normally can accommodate. People affected include those exposed to road traffic accidents, sport athletes, and military personnel. Both single and repetitive exposures may affect the brain acutely and can lead to chronic neurodegenerative changes including chronic traumatic encephalopathy associated with the development of dementia.

The changes in the brain following TBI include neuroinflammation, white matter lesions, and axonal damage. Even though the human brain anatomy is different from animals, animal models of TBI are important to investigate the changes that occur in TBI at molecular and cellular levels.

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a significant health burden among military service members. Although mTBI was once considered relatively benign compared to more severe TBIs, a growing body of evidence has demonstrated severe neurological consequences of mTBI, including chronic post-concussion symptoms and deficits in cognition, memory, sleep, vision, and hearing. The discovery of reliable biomarkers for mTBI has been challenging due to under-reporting and heterogeneity of mTBI, unpredictability of pathological changes, and delay of post-injury clinical evaluations. Moreover, compared to more severe TBI, mTBI is especially difficult to diagnose due to the lack of overt clinical neuroimaging findings.