FEB 26, 2020 7:01 PM PST

Immunotherapy Could Be Used to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury

WRITTEN BY: Amanda Mikyska

Video:  Further explaination of microglia and their various functions. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries are physical injuries to the brain which cause inflammation and are known to cause neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which has been in sports headlines regarding concussions.  Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin and the University of Maryland School of Medicine are working on a possible immunotherapy to reduce inflammation after a TBI and reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases.  

When a person experiences a TBI, for example a concussion, microglia cells become inflamed and effectively form a protective cushion around the brain.  Microglia are the brain’s immune cells, but long periods of inflammation, or many cycles of inflammation, cause neurological and cognitive damage.  

The researchers have now shown that inhibiting a gene in the microglia, necessary for their survival, will decrease inflammation and reduce risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease.  The researchers controlled a TBI in mice, then one month after the injury, they inhibited the CSF1R receptor in microglia cells. One week after inhibition, the receptor was controlled to resume normal activity.  The researchers found that turning off the critical receptor killed 95% of microglia cells, which dramatically decreased inflammation. Furthermore, when the receptors were allowed to resume activity, they were “reset” to normal activity, not a highly inflamed state.  

Though this is an early study in mice, researchers from a variety of backgrounds are interested in testing the concept with more specific parameters. 

 

Sources: Henry, et. al., PubMed, NeuroscienceNews

About the Author
  • Amanda graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in Biology. After working in research on creating biochemicals from genetically engineered yeast, she started freelance science writing while traveling the world. Now, Amanda is a Lab Manager and Research Assistant at the the University of Central Florida, studying the molecular phylogeny of parasitic wasps. She writes about the latest research in Neuroscience, Genetics & Genomics, and Immunology. Interested in working on solutions for food/water security, sustainable fuel, and sustainable farming. Amanda is an avid skier, podcast listener, and has run two triathlons.
You May Also Like
AUG 04, 2020
Neuroscience
What happens in the Brain in Cannabis Cravers?
AUG 04, 2020
What happens in the Brain in Cannabis Cravers?
Marijuana is sometimes used to help people wean themselves off other drugs addictions, such as to opioids, but can also ...
AUG 25, 2020
Neuroscience
Fear of Germs Leading Factor in COVID-19 Preventative Behavior
AUG 25, 2020
Fear of Germs Leading Factor in COVID-19 Preventative Behavior
Researchers from the University of Connecticut have found that people with a psychological aversion to germs are more li ...
SEP 05, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Moderate Cannabis Use in Teenagers Reduces Cognitive Abilities
SEP 05, 2020
Moderate Cannabis Use in Teenagers Reduces Cognitive Abilities
From studying adolescent siblings, researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that modera ...
SEP 15, 2020
Neuroscience
Smartphone Data Can Predict Depression and Anxiety
SEP 15, 2020
Smartphone Data Can Predict Depression and Anxiety
Researchers from Dartmouth College have found that passively-collected data from smartphones is able to predict a person ...
OCT 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Reduces OCD Symptoms by 50%
OCT 22, 2020
Cannabis Reduces OCD Symptoms by 50%
Researchers from Washington State University have found that smoking cannabis can lead to a short term reduction in up t ...
OCT 27, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
A Super Sensitive Alzheimer's Test Powered by Nanozymes
OCT 27, 2020
A Super Sensitive Alzheimer's Test Powered by Nanozymes
  Simple tasks are now uphill struggles, social situations aren’t fun, and the car keys are missing again. By ...
Loading Comments...