di Alberto Carrara, LC
Coordinatore del Gruppo di Neurobioetica (GdN)
Piccoli e ripetuti colpi alla testi come quelli che prendono i giocatori di rugby possono causare lesioni cerebrali?
Sembrerebbe proprio di si!
A confermarlo è il recentissimo studio pubblicato sulla prestigiosa rivista Journal ofNeurotrauma online lo scorso 25 aprile 2014. Il gruppo di ricercatori del dipartimento di neurochirurgia del Centro Medico dell’Università di Rochester, New York (USA), ha messo a punto un nuovissimo modello animale che fornisce importanti evidenze sulle conseguenze cerebrali di insulti ripetuti alla testa.
La ricerca si intitola: The Spectrum of Neuro-behavioral Sequelae Following Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Novel Mouse Model of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) ed è stata pubblicata online sul Journal of Neurotrauma (Published online April 25 2014 doi:10.1089/neu.2013.3255).
Di seguito l’abstract.
There has been an increased focus on the neurological sequelae of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly neurodegenerative syndromes such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); however, no animal model exists that captures the behavioral spectrum of this phenomenon. We sought to develop an animal model of CTE. Our novel model is a modification and fusion of two of the most popular models of TBI and allows for controlled closed-head impacts to un-anesthetized mice. Two-hundred and eighty, 12-week old mice were divided into control, single mild-TBI, and repetitive mild-TBI groups. Repetitive mild-TBI mice received six concussive impacts daily, for seven days. Behavior was assessed at various time-points. Neurological severity score (NSS) was computed and vestibulo-motor function tested with the wire grip test (WGT). Cognitive function was assessed with Morris water maze (MWM); anxiety/risk-taking behavior with the elevated-plus-maze (EPM), and depression-like behavior with the forced swim/tail suspension tests. Sleep EEG/EMG studies were performed at one month. NSS was elevated compared to controls in both TBI groups and improved over time. Repetitive mild-TBI mice demonstrated transient vestibulo-motor deficits on WGT. Repetitive mild-TBI mice also demonstrated deficits in MWM testing. Both mild-TBI groups demonstrated increased anxiety at 2-weeks but repetitive mild-TBI mice develop increased risk-taking behaviors at 1-month that persist at 6-months. Repetitive mild-TBI mice exhibit depression-like behavior at 1-month. Both groups demonstrate sleep disturbances. We describe the neurological sequelae of repetitive mild-TBI in a novel mouse model, which resemble several of the neuro-psychiatric behaviors observed clinically in patients sustaining repetitive mild head injury.