Traumatic Brain Injury
   Research Center

Animal models of diffuse axonal injury/multiple-system disconnection

Animal models of diffuse axonal injury/multiple-system disconnection. This project utilizes the impact acceleration model developed by Dr. Marmarou. We are using the tools of regenerative medicine to repair damaged brain circuits with neuronal and glial precursor cells. Our team has had previous successful experience with circuit regeneration in the spinal cord and anterior brain using a variety of neural stem cell preparations. Our main idea is that neural precursors prepared in such a fashion as to differentiate into neurons or oligodendrocytes hold great promise as means to regenerate injured or dead neurons and axons in key associative and cortico-subcortical circuits. Another part of this project uses genetically modified stem cells to express light-sensitive genes that turn on or turn off neuronal function. In this fashion, after we engraft the light-sensitive cells, we can study whether brain elements differentiated from grafts exert specific physiological functions in the adult nervous system.
This project is funded, in part, by the Maryland TEDCO.

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