Traumatic Brain Injury – Collaborative Translational Science at Lovelace Biomedical and the Mind Research Network
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is just one of the many areas of scientific study Lovelace Biomedical, along with its sister company the Mind Research Network (MRN), has in its repertoire. Dr. Andy Mayer, Professor of Translational Neuroscience at MRN is studying mild TBI, with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment of cognitive deficits following mild TBI. He and his colleagues are utilizing novel MRI techniques to try and understand what parts of the brain are affected after injury.
Dr. Mayer explains in relation to TBI, that “it was thought for a long time that there were no permanent affects after having a concussion, while in fact the opposite is true. Thinking has changed since 2005 after an NFL player showed signs of TBI years after the initial injury, which raised concerns about the long term effects”. This new understanding helped focus his research towards understanding more about the links between concussions-TBI, and their links to long term brain health.
Especially in sports related injuries, he likens it to when suffering an ankle sprain, you won’t want to go out and start using your ankle again after hurting it. Rather, you will want to let it heal and recover properly – the same goes for the brain after concussion or injury. Taking a hard hit to the head, and being “punch drunk” would take some time to allow to heal, avoiding “second impact syndrome,” which happens after rapid return to activity. Understanding the effects in children is especially needed.
“In the end, adult athletes can make up their own minds about what risks they wish to take. Children, though, cannot. It is therefore children who should attract the greatest attention. Not only are some children obliged to play contact sports at school, but they may also be participating in an environment that encourages a “stiff upper lip” when they are injured. Yet it has been clear since a study published in 2012 by Dr. Mayer that subtle brain changes in children who have sustained a concussion persist for months after the injury, even when there are no longer any obvious symptoms.”
– Andy Mayer, excerpt from the Economist “Bang to Rights” article, May 5, 2016; https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2016/03/05/bang-to-rights
See more on TBI and Andy’s studies in this interview: https://youtu.be/8iK16fYsWec
Lovelace Biomedical offers a range of CNS Neuroscience services in collaboration with the Mind Research Network.
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