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Concussions linked to epilepsy development

Altered astrocytes may be the root of epilepsy development

Date:January 22, 2019

Source:Virginia Tech

Summary:Experiments show a strong relationship between changes in astrocytes after mild traumatic brain injury and the eventual occurrence of a seizure.

The cortical grey matter of a mouse is depicted in this 3-D reconstructed confocal image. Researchers at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC linked a subtype of atypical brain cells called astrocytes with post-traumatic genesis of epilepsy. The reactive astrocytes are characterized by proteins glutamate transporter 1 (blue) and S100beta (green). Instead of undergoing cell death after mild traumatic brain injury, the atypical )

astrocytes have an enhanced expression of fluorescent protein tdTomato/red

Researchers at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC have identified a cellular response in mice to mild traumatic brain injuries that may lead to seizures.

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of epilepsy, which is characterized as the repeated occurrence of seizures. No treatments currently interrupt the process that the brain undergoes after injury that can eventually lead to the chronic condition of epilepsy.

The study, published today in JNeurosci, suggests that the development of epilepsy triggered by mild traumatic brain injury may be related to an atypical response from brain cells known as astrocytes, which change to form scars after a severe brain injury. This process is important to protect uninjured brain areas but comes at a price, because these scars have been associated with epilepsy.

The scientists found that astrocytes do not form scars after mild traumatic brain injury, but some astrocytes are altered in a different way almost immediately by these less severe types of injuries. Then, weeks later, the scientists observed spontaneous, recurrent seizures in some mice.

 

Journal Reference:

 

 

  1. Oleksii Shandra, Alexander R. Winemiller, Benjamin P. Heithoff, Carmen Munoz-Ballester, Kijana George, Michael J. Benko, Ivan Zuidhoek, Michelle N. Besser, Dallece E. Curley, G. Franklin Edwards, Anroux Mey, Alexys N. Harrington, Jeremy P. Kitchen, Stefanie Robel. Repetitive Diffuse Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Causes an Atypical Astrocyte Response and Spontaneous Recurrent SeizuresThe Journal of Neuroscience, 2019; 1067-18 DOI: ۱۰٫۱۵۲۳/JNEUROSCI.1067-18.2018
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