Chronic Measurement of Physiologic Endpoints Produces Translatable Results for Traumatic Brain Injury Countermeasures

Mar 8, 2021, 07:59 AM by Sara Kruper

March is recognized in the United States as Brain Injury Awareness Month. The Brain Injury Association of America estimates 1 in 60 Americans are living with brain injury.  Brain injuries range in severity and symptoms based on how it occurs and which part of the brain is affected.  According to Mayo Clinic, common causes of brain injury include falls, vehicle accidents, violence, playing sports, and combat-related injuries.

Harvard Bioscience (HBIO) is proud to serve researchers looking to understand and treat traumatic brain injury (TBI), offering products for behavioral, neurological, and respiratory assessment.  Within the HBIO portfolio DSI solutions enable physiologic monitoring of intracranial pressure, sleep, seizure, respiration, temperature, and more.  The following paragraphs highlight a sampling of TBI publication reviews where DSI solutions have been used.

Intracranial Pressure (ICP)

Intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure monitoring in freely moving rats via telemetry; pilot study

Cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) plays a vital role in maintaining oxygenation of cerebral tissues and its regulation can be thrown off by trauma.  In this pilot study, a research team at Charles University in the Czech Republic showed a new method of measuring chronic CPP in animal models.  Using DSI’s dual pressure implantable telemetry, the team measured both intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure for 72 hours and analyzed the data with Ponemah software to calculate CPP.  The study’s results establish a translatable model for assessing and treating brain injuries post-trauma.  See additional details of the study here or use the link above to view the full publication.


Sleep and Seizure

Impact of nutrition on inflammation, tauopathy, and behavioral outcomes from chronic traumatic encephalopathy

Researchers at the University of South Florida set out to assess the impact of nutrient intake on recovery from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a mouse model.  As sleep disturbances are commonly associated with TBI, the team used DSI implantable telemetry to measure EEG and EMG to assess sleep behavior.  They also performed a number of behavior-based assessments, motor, function, memory, and more.  The study’s results indicate nutrient-rich diets reduce progression of CTE.  


Aberrant hippocampal neurogenesis contributes to epilepsy and associated cognitive decline

Many brain injury patients experience acute seizures that often lead to epilepsy and cognitive impairment.  This study aimed to understand the role of adult-generated neurons in the development of chronic seizures.  To assess seizure activity, the team used DSI’s video-EEG solution to measure EEG continuously over a two week period with corresponding video data for seizure confirmation.  The results of the study indicate ablation of adult neurogenesis prior to acute seizures reduces seizure frequency and normalizes epilepsy-associated cognitive deficits.



N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine reduces neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment after mild traumatic brain injury in rats

In this study, researchers sought to assess the therapeutic potential of polyunsaturated fatty acids ethanolamides for mTBI.  They administered N-docosahexaenoylethanolamine (DHEA) to a mouse model of mTBI.  Mice were either injected with DHEA or saline immediately following injury and received additional doses daily over the following week.  Behavioral assessment was conducted one hour post-injury and daily over the seven days after. Specifically, the team assessed memory, anxiety-like behavior, and passive avoidance.  The Panlab elevated plus maze, SMART video tracking system, and shuttle box were used in behavioral assessment.  This study suggests DHEA administered subcutaneously promotes cognitive recovery in mTBI cases.



The Role of Substance P in Pulmonary Clearance of Bacteria in Comparative Injury Models

Patients with mTBI often experience lower rates of pneumonia, and this research team set out to better understand why.  A mild tail trauma, producing the same systemic effects as mTBI, and a mouse model of mTBI  were used to compare immune responses.  Respiratory endpoints including respiratory rate, time of inspiration/expiration, and tidal volume were measured the day before trauma and then four hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours post trauma using DSI’s Buxco® whole body plethysmography system.  The results show the mice with mTBI exhibit improved immune responses to pneumonia challenge including increased survival, pulmonary neutrophil recruitment, bacterial clearance, and phagocytic cell killing of bacteria than those with tail trauma.

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