Linda Van Eldik, Ph.D., director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky, has received a $1.6 million grant to study the role of a key protein in the cascade of events following traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The five-year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) explores the role of a protein called p38a in the inflammatory response process post-brain injury in a mouse model of mild TBI. The research will also determine the potential for a small molecule inhibitor of p38a activity to suppress the inflammation, and thereby prevent neuron degeneration and the resulting behavioral impairments caused by brain injury.
"In the research community, abnormal inflammation is being targeted as a potential 'bad guy' for a host of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke and brain injury is on that list," Van Eldik said.
Increasing evidence points to chronic, long-lasting inflammatory responses in the brain after TBI as a contributor to neurological damage and cognitive deficits, she said.
"If the p38a inhibitor is proven to interfere with the process by which inflammation damages the brain after injury, we will have a foundation for future development of treatments that might stop or... FULL STORY