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Neurocognitive and Biomarker Evaluation of Combination mTBI from Blast Overpressure and Traumatic Stress

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Annual rept. 1 Sep 2011-31 Aug 2012

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There is a high co-morbidity of mild traumatic brain injury mTBI and post traumatic stress disorder PTSD in Warfighters. Co-morbid mTBI and PTSD appears to be more prevalent than mTBI cases in isolation. Mild TBI and PTSD are statistically ranked the highest of battlefield injuries in OIF and OEF. It is generally assumed that the manifestation of mTBI symptoms result from one or more exposures to improvised explosive devices IEDs and that PTSD symptoms result from exposure to prolonged battlefield stress. The high incidence and comorbidity of PTSD and mTBI underscore an imperative for the DoD research community to gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms that precipitate these conditions together with the often associated post-concussive syndrome PCS which appears to share many of the same cognitive and emotive symptoms associated with TBI and PTSD. The purpose of the proposed experiments is to determine the relative contributions of repeated exposure to blast overpressure BOP and exposure to stressful predatory events, when presented alone and in combination, in a rodent model. The level of BOP used in the proposed experiments has been demonstrated by the PI Ahlers to be associated with mild outcomes where there is evidence of cognitive impairment in the absence of demonstrable pathology. The proposed experiments take advantage of years of extensive experience from the primary investigators Ahlers Genovese in studies of the effects of BOP and stressful events and their effects on behavior. The assessment behavioral outcomes resulting from exposure to BOP and stress will be complemented by the assessment of the potential protein biomarkers by Dr. Dave and his group who have considerable experience identifying protein biomarkers for brain injury.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Explosions

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