Georgia Researchers Achieve Breakthrough in Traumatic Brain Injury Study
ATHENS, GA. – August 28, 2018 (albanyherald.com) Researchers at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech have achieved a breakthrough in the field of traumatic brain injury study, according to an online news report from albanyherald.com.*
The research team has successfully reproduced the effects of traumatic brain injury in neuron cells grown in a petri dish and stimulated their recovery. Their achievement is a first for the scientific community using stem cell-derived neurons. Their process is outlined in a new paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, and their results will have significant effects on the study and treatment of traumatic brain injuries going forward.
Most neurons in the central nervous system cannot repair themselves after a traumatic event. The Georgia research teams used an agent called glutamate, which is released in the brain in high amounts after traumatic injury, to replicate a concussion-like disruption of neural activity in petri dish cells. They then exposed the cells to electrical stimulation and evaluated their activity.
The study authors say electrical stimulation devices, whether implantable or wearable, might be a recovery option for people with traumatic brain injuries. The next step toward achieving a new treatment option, they say, is to work with external collaborators to tailor electrical stimulation approaches with biomaterials that can exploit neuroplasticity. Such treatments could be highly beneficial to veterans, for example, who suffered traumatic brain injuries from explosion shockwaves with no physical focal point of injury.
“Drilling into the brain randomly to access tissue in such cases makes no sense,” said lead author Lohitash Karumbaiah. “A wearable device that can administer fairly controlled levels of relevant electrical stimulation can help these patients.”
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