Research at Ohio State University could pave the way for new treatments of concussions.
OSU researchers have been examining the effects of concussions on “sub-cellular levels,” according to the university.
Researchers induced “mild traumatic brain injury” on rodents and found that part of a nerve cell swells within a matter of seconds, much faster than previously thought, researcher Chen Gu reports.
“This is probably highly relevant to mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, and corresponds to what is seen in the clinic – that most people recover fully with time.”
Similar swellings are seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, according to OSU.
Gu and his fellow researchers have found that such swelling is reversible. Their study will appear in “The Journal of Cell Biology.
In the study, when a rodent was subjected to head trauma, it activated a protein that caused a chain reaction. Suppressing the protein prevented swelling, Gu said.
It’s unclear whether humans will respond differently to blows to the head, Gu said.