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TBI

Stopping Epilepsy Before It Starts?

“Being able to identify that a person is likely to develop epilepsy following a brain injury is one of the most important focus areas in modern-day epilepsy research,” says Dr. Laura Lubbers, CURE’s Chief Scientific Officer. “With 3.4 million Americans suffering from epilepsy and seizures in the U.S., this discovery of a predictive biomarker for a certain form of epilepsy could prevent unpredictable seizures from taking over the lives of millions of Americans and their families.”   New research, funded by Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), has discovered a ‘smoking gun’ biomarker that could result in treatments that stop some epilepsies before they even start.   Using a rat model of brain injury and epilepsy, CURE-funded researcher Dr. Annamaria Vezzani and her team...

New study hopes to shed light on mechanism behind epileptic and non-epileptic seizures

Seizures are a common result of traumatic brain injury, especially in military veterans. A new study funded by the DOD, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, and conducted in Providence RI and Birmingham AL (at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Providence, RI and Birmingham, AL, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham) hopes to shed new light on the mechanism behind seizures associated with post-traumatic epilepsy and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.   The $3.6 million award, W81XWH-17-1-0619 will examine whether a form of cognitive behavior therapy, a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy approach to problem-solving, could be effective in reducing the frequency and/or severity of seizures in those with TBI. Cognitive...

Slowing brain cell growth reduces risk of seizures

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major contributor to disabilities and deaths in the U.S. Statistics indicate that 153 people die every day from injuries involving TBI.   TBI is a type of brain injury that occurs when trauma causes damage to the brain. An individual with mild TBI may experience unconsciousness for a few seconds, whereas an individual with severe TBI may have headaches that don’t go away, or in extreme cases, it can cause a loss of coordination and slurred speech.  

TBI RESEARCH: Preventing Epilepsy in Patients with TBI

Research consortium awarded $21 million NIH grant to find ways to prevent epilepsy in patients with TBI An international consortium of academic research institutions have been awarded a $21 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop better ways to prevent epilepsy in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. The grant will be led by seven principal investigators at five institutions: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, University of Melbourne and University of Eastern Finland. The investigators will collaborate in the fields of bioinformatics, molecular biology, cellular pathology, therapy discovery and the health sciences. The research team will...

Recovery from TBI appears to go hand-in-hand with improvement of sleep problems

After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), people also experience major sleep problems, including changes in their sleep-wake cycle. A new study shows that recovering from these two conditions occurs in parallel. The study is published in the December 21, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

UVA researchers begin first clinical trial using focused ultrasound to treat patients with epilepsy

Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) are starting the first clinical trial in the world using focused ultrasound to treat patients with epilepsy. The study, supported by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation, will assess the feasibility, safety and initial effectiveness of focused ultrasound to non-invasively destroy (ablate) diseased brain tissue that causes seizures. The study is now recruiting up to 15 adult patients with a range of rare deep brain lesions that produce debilitating seizures that often do not respond to medications. It is expected that most patients in the study will have benign tumors in the hypothalamus, which can lead to frequent seizures with outbursts of spontaneous laughing, giggling, crying or grunting; developm...

Using a Virus to Treat Disease

New virus-based method opens wide range of options to treat various diseases The ability to switch disease-causing genes on and off remains a dream for many physicians, research scientists and patients. Research teams from across the world are busy turning this dream into a reality, incuding a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. Led by Dr. Mazahir T. Hasan, and working under the auspices of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, the team has successfully programmed a virus to transport the necessary genetic material to affected tissue and nerve cells inside the body. A report on their new virus-based method, which delivers instructions to the host genome without becoming part of it, has been publ...

TBI: Athletes may experience long-term brain changes after sports-related concussion

New research finds white matter changes in the brains of athletes six months after a concussion. The study will be presented at the Sports Concussion Conference in Chicago, July 8-10, hosted by the American Academy of Neurology, the world’s leading authority on the diagnosis and management of sports-related concussion. The conference brings together leading experts in the field to present and discuss the latest scientific advances in diagnosing and treating sports-related concussion. The study involved 17 high school and college football players who experienced a sports-related concussion. The participants underwent MRI brain scans and were assessed for concussion symptoms, balance problems, and cognitive impairment, or memory and thinking problems, at 24 hours, eight days and six mo...

Experimental Collar Minimizes Effects of Concussion

BOSTON — An experimental collar reduces signs of brain damage in athletes who play contact sports, researchers report. “This device clearly has potential to reduce the effects of concussions,” said Amit Reches, PhD, from ElMindA, a brain imaging company in Herzliya, Israel. The collar compresses the jugular vein, increasing the volume of blood in the cranium and reducing the brain slosh that occurs with sudden motion, explained Gregory Myer, PhD, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In trials of hockey and football players, those who wore the collar showed fewer changes in their brain structure, measured by diffusion tensor imaging, and in their brain functioning, measured by electroencephalography, Drs Reches and Myer reported. The pair presented results f...

Brain formation pattern shows why early trauma may leave no clues

Some of the earliest nerve cells to develop in the womb shape brain circuits that process sights and sounds, but then give way to mature networks that convert this sensory information into thoughts. This is the finding of a study led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the February 3 edition of Neuron. Specifically, the study in mice found that nerve circuit templates in part of the brain’s cortex – the layer that regulates thought and memory – are first laid down during mammalian development by nerve cells that secrete the signaling chemical somatostatin (SST). Later in the process, a second wave of related nerve cells, parvalbumin (PV) neurons, arrives to build the faster, more precise circuits needed for higher brain functions. The study resul...

Scientists identify mechanisms to reduce epileptic seizures following TBI

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that halting production of new neurons in the brain following traumatic brain injury can help reduce resulting epileptic seizures, cognitive decline, and impaired memory. Injury to the brain stimulates the production of new neurons, but these new cells are sometimes hyperexcitable, disrupting neural circuits and causing recurring seizures, researchers with UT Southwestern’s Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair reported in Nature Communications.

Brain scans may predict possibility of recovering from coma

Brain scans of people in a coma may help predict who will regain consciousness, according to a study published in the November 11, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study looked at connections between areas of the brain that play a role in regulating consciousness. For the study, 27 people in a coma with severe brain injuries were compared to 14 healthy people of the same ages. All of the participants had functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans taken of their brains. For those in a coma, the scans were conducted after any sedative drugs were out of their systems. Three months after their injuries, four of the people with coma had recovered consciousness. The others remained in a minimally conscious state or a vegetati...

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