Preliminary investigations using an in vitro model for mild traumatic brain injury
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Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), or concussions, account for 300,000 sports-related injuries in the United States. High school football players alone will account for some 62,000 of these cases. These injuries occur when a force is strong enough to cause mental dysfunction. Symptoms include headaches, loss of sleep, mood swings, and, in some cases, depression. Since one does not ever completely recover from a concussion, subsequent concussions can cause even more damage. Little is known about the cause of these injuries and it is hypothesized that it might be due to a global failure in network communication. We have developed a device which should allow us to induce injury in a small region containing neurons and investigate possible changes in their network activity. Our device is unique in that it allows for comparison with uninjured neurons within the same culture. With this in vitro model, we hope to understand how these injuries affect network function.
Department of Physics
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