Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Medicine

Research Sheds New Light on Traumatic Brain Injuries

Published: Apr 16, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2013) — Even a mild injury to the brain can have long lasting consequences, including increased risk of cognitive impairment later in life. While it is not yet known how brain injury increases risk for dementia, there are indications that chronic, long-lasting, inflammation in the brain may be important. A new paper by researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA), appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience, offers the latest information concerning a “switch” that turns “on” and “off” inflammation in the brain after trauma.

 

A team of researchers led by Linda Van Eldik, director of SBCoA, used a mouse model to study the role of p38a MAPK in trauma-induced injury responses in the microglia resident immune cell of the brain.

 

“The p38α MAPK protein is an important switch that drives abnormal inflammatory responses in peripheral tissue inflammatory disorders, including chronic debilitating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis,” said Van Eldik.

 

“However, less is known about the potential importance of p38α MAPK in controlling inflammatory responses in the brain. Our work supports p38α MAPK as a promising clinical target for the treatment of CNS disorders associated with uncontrolled brain inflammation, including trauma, and potentially others like Alzheimer’s disease. We are excited by our findings, and are actively working to develop drugs targeting p38a MAPK designed specifically for diseases of the brain.”

 

Lead author of the paper Adam D. Bachstetter said, “I was surprised when I looked under the microscope at the brain tissue of mice that had a diffuse brain injury. Microglia normally look like a small spider, but after suffering a brain injury the microglia become like angry spiders from a horror movie. In brain-injured mice that lack p38a MAPK there were no angry-looking microglia, only the normal small spider-like cells. When I started the study I never expected the results to be so clear and striking. I believe that the p38a MAPK is a promising clinical target for the treatment of CNS disorders with dysregulated inflammatory responses, but we are still a long way from development of CNS-active p38 inhibitor drugs.”

 

The paper, "The p38a MAPK regulates microglial responsiveness to diffuse traumatic brain injury," is from a team of researchers including Linda Van Eldik, as well as Adam Bachstetter, Machi Kaneko and Danielle Goulding of SBCoA; and Rachel K. Rowe and Jonathan Lifshitz, director of the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital in Arizona.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Elliott, Allison.Elliott@uky.edu

istock_000005809739xsmall-1_0.jpg
August
 
1
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Mon
2
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Tue
3
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Wed
4
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
End of the Summer II 2016 Eight-Week Session
Thu
5
 
Fri
6
 
Sat
7
 
Sun
8
 
Mon
9
 
Tue
10
 
Wed
11
 
Thu
12
 
Fri
13
Parent and Families Open House
Sat
14
 
Sun
15
 
Mon
16
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
Tue
17
 
Wed
18
 
Thu
19
K Week Kick-off
Off-campus Freshmen Check-in
Parent and Families Reception
Fri
20
New Student Induction Ceremony
Big Blue U
Getting Around Campus and Beyond
Campus Ruckus
Sat
21
UK Lex-Mart
K Team Lunch
Late-night Target Run
Sun
22
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
Dinner with your K Team
Mon
23
We Are UK
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
TEAL Classrooms Open House
Campus Tours for K Teams
Tue
24
First Day of School Photos
First day of classes of Fall 2016
Wed
25
Pedalpalooza
First Day of School Photos
Thu
26
OCSS Wildcat Block Watch
Fri
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Red River Gorge Adventure Trip for Out-of-State Students
Music Workshop for Teachers and Students: Michael Chandler
Flight 5191 Tenth Anniversary Memorial Service
Sat
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Mon
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Last Day to Add a Class for Fall 2016
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 80% Refund
Tue
31
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Wed
 
 
 
Aug 26
OCSS Wildcat Block Watch 08/26/2016
Reset Page