Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

Joanne Conover

Honors Major

Biological Sciences

Disciplines

Anatomy | Animal Structures | Animal Studies | Biology | Cells | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Computational Neuroscience | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Nervous System | Nervous System Diseases | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Sports Sciences | Systems and Integrative Physiology | Systems Biology | Systems Neuroscience | Tissues

Abstract

Repeated concussive traumatic brain injury (rcTBI) is the most prominent form of head injury affecting the brain, with an estimated 1.7 million Americans affected each year (Kuhn 2012). Neurologists have been concerned about the danger of repeated head impacts since the 1920’s, but researchers have only begun to understand the long-term effects of rcTBI (McKee 2009). Although symptoms can be as mild as dizziness, current research suggests that multiple concussions can lead to a progressive degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) (Luo 2008, McKee 2009, Kane 2013). Research on the brain is just beginning to scratch the surface of how to both facilitate the immediate recovery and treat the long-term physiological changes that result from concussive injury. In the Conover lab we have shown that a closed-skull weight drop mouse model of rcTBI is able to produce early CTE phenotypes in the periventricular septum and induce lateral ventricle expansion. Understanding the link between rcTBI and CTE in the mouse model can have practical future applications in developing therapeutics for the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of brain injury.