Neuroprotection & Models Program

The Neuroprotection and Models Program will address ways to preserve tissue structure and function, which is especially important relative to the secondary damage in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Limiting the extent of tissue damage should always be the primary means to preserve functional capacity.

Neuroprotection and Models Program Primary Goals:

  • Advance our understanding of both the pathobiological mechanisms underlying TBI and the neurological and behavioral consequences of TBI.
  • Use preclinical models to identify and test promising approaches that can be applied to the treatment of clinical brain injury.
  • Develop both in vitro and in vivo laboratory models.

Critical Issues for the Neuroprotection and Models Program:

  • The basic mechanisms of brain injury that underlie the symptomatology associated with blast exposures, especially repeated exposures, are not yet understood, which poses challenges for effective treatment development.
  • TBI is a complex and heterogeneous malady and specifically blast-TBI can involve injury from the blast wave and explosive charge components and the forces of interaction with the environment.
  • Model development and the application and assessment of agents for neuroprotection requires further information regarding the underlying neuropathology in order to harmonize with clinical opportunities to improve outcome from TBI.

Research Projects

The impact of TBI and stress on neurological function and behavioral response patterns is still poorly understood. Several research projects within the Program will address basic mechanistic issues that are relevant to our eventual treatment of TBI and stress disorders.

Several investigators in the Program will study agents that already have proven their utility for promoting neuroprotection, including valproic acid and lithium, the fatty acid hydrolase inhibitor, AM3506, for reducing fear conditioning as a potentially amenable approach to reducing anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the possible utility of annexin-like peptides to limit membrane damage.

Neuroprotection Program Research Projects and Pilots

Click here to download project and pilots abstracts

Principal Investigator
Sergey Bezrukov
Membrane Biophysics of TBI

Maria Braga
Pathological and Pathophysiological Alterations in Rat Hippocampus in mTBI

De-Maw Chuang
Neuroprotective and Neurotrophic Effects of Mood Stabilizing Drugs in TBI

Neil Grunberg
Neurobehavioral Phenotyping of Male and Female Rats to BOP, HIFU, and stress

Andrew Holmes
Effects of boosting brain endocannabinoid levels on fear extinction behavior

Chantal Moratz
Blast-induced injury of blood-brain barrier and neuroimmune sequelae

Clifton Dalgard
The Role of Memory Adaptive Immunity in Mild TBI
Andrew Holmes
Genetics and neural factors determining vulnerability and resilience to trauma

Marguerite Littleton-Kearney
Gender-Specific Differences in Regional Cerebral Blood and Glucose Metabolism after Moderate Lateral Fluid Percussion Injury (LFPI)

Joseph McCabe
Brain Protein SUMOylation for Neuroprotection