The Australian Medical Association Limited and state AMA entities comply with the Privacy Act 1988. Please refer to the AMA Privacy Policy to understand our commitment to you and information on how we store and protect your data.

×

Search

×

Treatment for long-term damage from brain injury?

A study by researchers at The University of Melbourne’s Department of Medicine has suggested more hopeful ways to treat the common long-term cognitive, psychiatric and epileptic consequences of traumatic brain injury. Prof Tim O’Brien, head of the department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, says that there are no effective interventions currently to reduce the incidence or severity of these problems, but the results of the study provide new insights into the progressive nature of how the brain changes following injury.

15 Nov 2010

A study by researchers at The University of Melbourne’s Department of Medicine has suggested more hopeful ways to treat the common long-term cognitive, psychiatric and epileptic consequences of traumatic brain injury.

Prof Tim O’Brien, head of the department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, says that there are no effective interventions currently to reduce the incidence or severity of these problems, but the results of the study provide new insights into the progressive nature of how the brain changes following injury.

It has demonstrated that changes in brain structure and function after traumatic brain injury are dynamic and continue to progress and evolve for many months.

“This opens up a window of opportunity to give treatments to halt this damage and reduce the long-term neurological and psychiatric complications that many patients experience.”

The research team used positron emission tomography (PET) fused with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on animal models to understand better the long-term functional and structural changes that take place after traumatic brain injury. It revealed widespread decreases in functioning in specific regions of the brain, many of them remote from the site of the direct trauma, the hippocampus being the key area of these changes.

Prof O’Brien says that the study could also apply to the study of other neurological diseases, such as stroke, dementia, MS brain infections and epilepsy, that are associated with long-term progressive degenerative changes in the brain.

The study has been reported in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.


Published: 15 Nov 2010