Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
Our research focuses on repetitive mTBI, because most people with a single mTBI recover without significant long-term consequences, but those with repetitive mTBI experience greater severity of symptoms, longer recovery time, and earlier onset of age-related cognitive impairment and dementia. Repeated concussions have also been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia pugilistica (or “Punch-Drunk” Syndrome). Repetitive mTBI has become of particular concern for individuals engaged in contact sports or in military operations because they are at high risk of repeated concussion.
We are interested in understanding how repetitive concussive injury to the brain affects the dynamic changes among the multiple cell types involved in neuroimmune interactions and how these changes contribute to the onset and progression of cognitive and functional decline.
We established a mouse model of repetitive mTBI to simulate concussions experienced during sports or combat-related injury. The model reflects some of the key cognitive and pathological features seen in patients, therefore is suitable for studying the molecular mechanisms of repetitive concussive injury to the brain and for evaluating potential therapeutic interventions for mTBI.