AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 4, 2018


TBI Triggers Liver to Produce Protein Tied to Inflammation

In a study recently published in The American Journal of Pathology, the Georgetown University Medical Center conducted an animal study that shows how traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects the body as well as the brain and how treatment with hypertension drugs can block the production of proteins related to inflammation. The study revealed how brain injury produces an inflammatory response in the blood, as well as in the body’s organs, particularly the liver. The researchers 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. According to researchers, this means the brain could then possibly 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.” Earlier studies suggest another hypertension drug, called candesartan could improve outcomes if given six hours after TBI in mice. Six hours after a brain injury, use of the drugs decreased brain inflammation, neuronal death, bleeding and swelling in the brain. Blood flow to the brain improved within one to three days after treatment, and cognitive improvement was seen one month after injury. To read more about this study, click here.

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