Acute neurobehavioural changes following repeat mild traumatic brain injury




Wortman, Ryan C

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There is increasing evidence that repeat mild traumatic brain injury (rmTBI) may result in cumulative and long-term symptoms, more pronounced behavioural deficits, and neurodegeneration. Children have a greater susceptibility to head injury and represent a significant at risk population for rmTBI, especially those that participate in contact sports. Despite this, there is a paucity of data on rmTBI pathophysiology in the juvenile brain. The current study utilizes a novel awake closed head injury (ACHI) model to deliver repeat injuries to fully conscious juvenile rats. The ACHI model avoids the potential confounds of anaesthesia, and facilitates the assessment of neurological function immediately after each impact. Results indicate that the ACHI model produces acute neurological deficits after each impact, and that repeat injury worsens outcomes. Behavioural testing identified transient anxiety-like behaviour and motor impairment in response to rmTBI. The functional impairments and affective behaviour were in the absence of tau protein pathology. This study represents the first investigation of the consequences of rmTBI on the juvenile brain using an awake model of brain injury.



concussion, mild traumatic brain injury, behaviour, juvenile