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Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Systemic Inflammation in Blunt TBI-Induced Optic Nerve Injury


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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of injury in American military personnel. TBI caused by blunt head trauma is often associated with vision loss, due to injury of the optic nerve. Such vision loss can be severe. Up to approximately 75 percent of military personnel with TBI report visual symptoms, and such symptoms lead to significantly reduced quality of life measures. In spite of the magnitude of this problem, there are currently no treatments for optic nerve trauma that are backed by scientific evidence. This work is focused on better understanding pathological mechanisms active in a murine model of traumatic optic neuropathy from head trauma. Specifically, we aim to better understand the roles of endoplasmic reticulum stress and peripheral cytokine-mediated inflammation on retinal injury resulting from blunt head trauma. We are approaching the goals of this application via the following specific aims: Aim 1: To determine which element(s) of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response are most relevant to degenerative injury after optic nerve trauma. Aim 2: To determine the degree to which the peripheral inflammatory response contributes to outcomes after optic nerve trauma. This research will help clarify what should be targeted after blunt head injury to improve visual outcomes after TBI.



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