During an incident of traumatic brain injury, inflammation gets triggered within the nervous system which can lead to further harmful effects. However, the researchers are searching for prevention of this inflammatory response by aiming at one type of brain cell.
The researchers belonging to the Ohio State University in Columbus recently performed a study involving mice. They investigated a new cellular target with a potential to stop inflammation that occurs after a traumatic brain injury.
Specifically speaking, these researchers tested a drug that permitted them to stop the activity of microglia, a kind of nerve cell with a primary role in the immune response.
The researchers used this drug to wipe out certain cells called microglia in mice that had suffered from brain injury. This lead to the disappearance of inflammation which is considered to be the hallmark of brain injury.
As for now, no approved drugs exist for the treatment of serious brain injury. This study aims to find a better way to take care of your brain health.
To go through the detailed findings of this study, click here.
An Important Initial Step
In this study, the investigators aimed at stimulating the effects of brain injury which a person experiences after getting a blow to their head leading to the loss of consciousness for some time.
The investigators particularly chose mouse model to work with, targeting the microglia. This caused the prevention of the harmful inflammatory response in the brains of the mice.
The scientists have revealed that chronic inflammation along with brain injury is extremely harmful and how they were successfully able to eliminate the inflammatory response of the immune systems of mice by targeting one particular type of cell.
It is a great move because the medical community now has a specific cell to target if anyone wishes to discover the potential interventions for decreasing the harm due to a concussion.
However, the investigators do not believe that the drug that was used in their mouse study can treat brain injury in humans ever.
This is because this drug can top microglia from stimulating inflammation but also leads to the damage of other functions necessary for the maintenance of brain health. After all, the microglial cells form almost 10 to 15 percent of all brain cells.
The scientists are not aware of the long-term effects occurring due to the elimination of these immune cells. However, more analysis is being performed at a biochemical, behavioral, and physiological level to get to the bottom of this query.
Interesting Discovery Leads to More Queries
Another aspect that the researchers are investigating is how the inflammatory response looks like at different times right after a brain injury.
It is important to understand the changing nature of whatever is happening in this cells. This is because it will help the medical community develop a better understanding of where and when to intervene.
In the past, attempts at the treatment of brain injury with simple anti-inflammatory medicines have not proven to be successful. Therefore, it is important to learn about the new mechanisms of inflammatory responses occurring in the brain to derive a suitable treatment.
So far, the researchers have made another interesting finding of the role of microglia after a brain injury, which is that these cells become oddly elongated.
Further research will help explore whether certain nerve cells prove helpful while others facilitate inflammatory processes due to brain injury.