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
JUN 15, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Revealing the Network of Neurons in the Heart
JUN 15, 2020
Revealing the Network of Neurons in the Heart
The autonomic nervous system is linked to the intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICN), which is thought to help regulate ...
JUL 02, 2020
Neuroscience
Light to Moderate Drinking May Prevent Cognitive Decline in Older Adults
JUL 02, 2020
Light to Moderate Drinking May Prevent Cognitive Decline in Older Adults
A study from the University of Georgia has found that light to moderate drinking may preserve brain function in older ag ...
JUL 17, 2020
Neuroscience
RNA Gene Editing Restores Rett's Syndrome Protein in Mouse Model
JUL 17, 2020
RNA Gene Editing Restores Rett's Syndrome Protein in Mouse Model
Video:  Overview of how scientists edit an RNA sequence.    Rett's syndrome is a chronic, neurologica ...
AUG 04, 2020
Neuroscience
Transcranial Stimulation Disrupts Fearful Memories
AUG 04, 2020
Transcranial Stimulation Disrupts Fearful Memories
Disrupting negative memory formation has been a challenge for years- involving treatments ranging from psychotherapy to ...
AUG 04, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Alzheimer's Blood Test Serves as a Crystal Ball
AUG 04, 2020
Alzheimer's Blood Test Serves as a Crystal Ball
According to a recent study, the answers could lie in a simple blood test.
AUG 10, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism
AUG 10, 2020
Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism
Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, Canada, have found that children born to mothers who used cannabis whil ...
Loading Comments...