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TBI linked to Alzheimer’s disease

In 2010, traumatic brain injury led to 2.3 million people seeking emergency room treatment in this country. These traumatic brain injuries are caused by a single, large impact such as a blow to the head or from an explosion or can accumulate from a lifetime of minor head contacts such as those suffered in football or other contact sports. While TBI has long been a risk-factor for Alzheimer’s disease, new research has discovered the mechanism linking brain injury to this affliction and a possible cure.

Healthy trans proteins function within nerve cells to form the process that provides their shape and allows them to perform properly. When the protein folding process malfunctions, however, the brain can form misshapen tau proteins. These proteins then malfunction and cause damage to the energy generators within the nerve cells which eventually leads to toxicity and cell death.

Researchers examined the brains of people suffering with chronic injury-related brain damage with an immunofluorescence brain imaging technique. They discovered these people had much higher levels of cis P-tau compared to individuals without brain damage. Cis P-tau has the ability to kill neutrons which eventually leads to neurofibrillary tangles and brain injury which are the significant lesions of Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury.

Researchers developed a special antibody that can safely tag cis P-tau and neutralize the cells’ internal toxic proteins. This led them to conclude that pre-treatment and brain injection are unnecessary. Antibody treatment may be delayed hours after a head injury while three to four antibody injections are administered. In other words, short-term antibody treatment after the injury is inflicted may successfully treat it and prevent its long-term consequences if no other injuries are inflicted.

These tests were performed on mice so there is a question on whether this treatment will work on an age-dependent disease such as Alzheimer’s. However, researchers believe that their findings revealed a unique common disease mechanism which can lead to early diagnosis, prevention and therapy of this disease mechanism in sport-and military-related TBI and Alzheimer’s disease.

Victims of a brain injury in New York caused by recklessness or negligence may face a series of medical, emotional and financial challenges. Legal representation should be sought to help assure that reasonable damages are sought for treatment and losses.