Activation of fibrotic scar forming cells following traumatic brain injury

2014 Seed Grant
Julie Siegenthaler, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
University of Colorado, School of Medicine

Traumatic brain injury is a growing cause of acquired cognitive disability in the US. Considerable progress has been made to understand how the brain responds to traumatic brain injury yet one aspect has not yet received much attention. Following a blow to the head, the area of brain that is directly injured begins to die and, as a result, is filled by different types of cells. In other types of brain injury like stroke, some of these cells make a “scar” within the dying brain tissue much like the scar that forms after you cut your hand. At this point, we do not know if the scar helps or hinders brain recovery. In this proposal, we plan to look carefully to see if these cells are actively making this scar in laboratory animals after a head injury. By understanding more about these cells we can determine if the scar-forming cells should be helped or stopped to better support brain healing after traumatic brain injury.