AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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TBI Triggers Liver to Produce Inflammatory Protein

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A new animal study shows that hypertension drugs can block the production of proteins related to inflammation after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study, published in The American Journal of Pathology, revealed that in an animal model, brain injury produces an inflammatory response in the blood and body’s organs, especially the liver. The liver responds with increased production (up to a thousand-fold) of a protein that ramps up inflammation in the brain, leading to chronic inflammation, nerve-cell death and reduced blood flow. The investigators also discovered that in mice, small doses of telmisartan, a hypertension drug, blocked production of one of the molecules in the protein’s biological pathway, leading to substantial reduction in inflammation, allowing the brain to potentially heal. “To date, treatment of TBI consists of supportive care and rehabilitation because there has been no way to reduce the inflammatory damage that occurs right after head injury trauma and continuously thereafter,” said the study’s lead researcher. “And our findings suggest a treatment for both the brain and body would play a critical role in this chronic inflammatory response.” To read more about this study, click here.

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