Predicting axonal injury after traumatic brain injury

Takeaway

  • A model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) was able to predict patterns of damage to brain tissues, particularly in the sulci and white matter tracts. Clinically, this model could help to improve injury assessment as well as design of helmets and other protective equipment.

Why this matters

  • TBI involves a rapid transfer of forces into the head and brain causing a range of immediate changes and injuries including axonal disconnection, neuronal loss, vascular damage and release of neurotransmitters.

  • The London-based investigators previously developed a human finite element model of head injury able to predict biomechanical forces in different tissues after head injury and is validated here using a rat model with controlled cortical impact (CCI).

  • The model allows testing of the relationship between mechanical strains from a computational model and empirical measures of post-traumatic pathology, which is difficult to perform with human injuries due to the lack of precise biomechanical information of the injuries.