Research Reports - Brain injury, neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's disease

Front Aging Neurosci. 2013 Jul 11;5:26

Breunig JJ, Guillot-Sestier MV, Town T

With as many as 300,000 United States troops in Iraq and Afghanistan having
suffered head injuries (Miller, 2012), traumatic brain injury (TBI) has garnered
much recent attention. While the cause and severity of these injuries is
variable, severe cases can lead to lifelong disability or even death. While aging
is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), it is now becoming
clear that a history of TBI predisposes the individual to AD later in life
(Sivanandam and Thakur, 2012). In this review article, we begin by defining
hallmark pathological features of AD and the various forms of TBI. Putative
mechanisms underlying the risk relationship between these two neurological
disorders are then critically considered. Such mechanisms include precipitation
and 'spreading' of cerebral amyloid pathology and the role of neuroinflammation.
The combined problems of TBI and AD represent significant burdens to public
health. A thorough, mechanistic understanding of the precise relationship between
TBI and AD is of utmost importance in order to illuminate new therapeutic
targets. Mechanistic investigations and the development of preclinical
therapeutics are reliant upon a clearer understanding of these human diseases and
accurate modeling of pathological hallmarks in animal systems.

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