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Traumatic Brain Injury Interferes with Immune System Cells’ Recycling Process in Brain Cells

Each year about 1.5 million people in the U.S. survive a traumatic brain injury due to a fall, car accident, or a sports injury, which can cause immediate and long-term disability.

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers wanted to better understand what happens in the brain during injury, so they conducted a study in mice to determine how different types of brain cells in mice react to severe trauma. In a new study published in the January issue of Autophagy, they found that after traumatic brain injury, the brain’s immune system cells’ internal recycling function slowed dramatically, allowing waste products to build up and interfere with recovery from injury.

The researchers also found that treating mice that had traumatic brain injury with a drug to promote cellular recycling improved the mice’s ability to recover from injury and solve a water maze, a measure of memory function in mice.


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From University of Maryland School of Medicine

By Vanessa McMains

Inflammation Pattern in the Brain May Cause Many Long COVID Symptoms

In a study supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, researchers looked at the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in animal models to understand potential causes of Long COVID. Their findings suggest that in addition to causing long-lasting organ damage, SARS-CoV-2 can set off a pattern of brain inflammation that may be linked to Long COVID symptoms.
From National Institutes of Health

Study offers hope for better recovery of stroke patients

Ischemic stroke, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain, is a common cause of death and disability. Treatments are urgently needed to improve patient outcomes, because recovery currently depends largely on the timely injection of a blood clot-dissolving drug. Priorities for therapy include limiting inflammation at the ischemic site and rebuilding neuronal connections damaged by the stroke. However, a molecule that can achieve these therapeutic effects has remained elusive.

In a study to be published in Stroke, researchers from Osaka University provide new hope for patients. They have identified two proteins, R-spondin 3 (RSPO3) and LGR4, that trigger a cascade of reactions in cells (i.e., a signaling pathway) to reduce inflammation in the ischemic brain. RSPO3 and LGR4 also stimulate the growth of extensions from neurons, a process called neurite outgrowth.

From News Medical

Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.

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COVID-19’s impact on the brain: Immune response may cause damage

Previous research links COVID-19 infection to brain issues, such as “brain fog” and neurological issues.

In a very small cadaver study, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that antibodies created by the body in response to COVID-19 infection can cause damage to blood vessels in the brain, causing neurological symptoms.

Scientists believe the discovery of antibody-driven immune complexes on endothelial cells in the brain suggests immune-modulating therapies may help long COVID patients.

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From Medical News Today

By Corrie Pelc

The role of low-grade inflammation in ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) – associations with symptoms

  • Associations between inflammatory markers and common symptoms in ME/CFS.
  • Higher levels of markers were significantly associated with higher levels of symptoms.
  • Biological sex moderated several associations.

Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) often present with a range of flu-like symptoms resembling sickness behavior as well as widespread pain and concentration deficits. The aim of this study was to explore the association between inflammatory markers previously shown to be related to fatigue severity in ME/CFS and common ME/CFS symptoms post-exertional fatigue, impaired cognitive processing, musculoskeletal pain and recurrent flu-like symptoms, and the moderating effect of sex on these associations.

From Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 113


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Researchers identify type of long COVID with persistent inflammation

US researchers say they have discovered a subtype of long COVID characterized by persistent inflammation, a finding that could help identify dominant disease pathways of diagnostic or therapeutic value.

For the ongoing study, published late last week in Nature Communications, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and the Allen Institute for Immunology in Seattle assessed serum proteome (proteins) in blood samples obtained from 55 patients who reported COVID-19 symptoms lasting at least 60 days after infection in 2020. The team compared the samples with those of 24 recovered patients and 22 uninfected participants.

The study authors noted that long COVID may be caused by persistent inflammation, unresolved tissue damage, or detailed clearance of viral protein or RNA but that the biologic differences these factors represent are not well understood.

From University of Minnesota

By Mary Van Beusekom, MS

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Identifying how inflammation affects stroke recovery

A new research grant will enable University of Cincinnati researchers to learn more about how inflammation affects patient recovery after certain kinds of strokes.

Kyle Walsh, MD, is the principal investigator of the CAPSTONE study, and his team received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The name of the study, CAPSTONE, is an acronym for Central And Peripheral STrOke inflammatioN with Exosomes. The research focuses on patient recovery after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a particular type of stroke caused by a blood vessel in the brain rupturing.

ICH strokes account for about 20% of all strokes, but are often deadly and cause high disability. They also occur in Black and Hispanic populations twice as often and an average of 10 years earlier in life compared to their white counterparts.

Walsh explained that the brain suffers injury from the bleeding itself during an ICH stroke, called the “primary injury,” but following this a number of inflammatory processes occur both inside the brain and in the circulating blood. Previous research has suggested that while some of these inflammatory processes help repair the damage, others are harmful and contribute to a “secondary injury.”

Daniel Woo, MD, co-investigator of the study, said sometimes inflammation can persist and become chronic in the brain long after it has done its job, which is believed to lead to neurodegeneration. Nearly 40% of patients who survive an ICH stroke develop progressive cognitive decline, comparable to dementia, within a few years after the stroke occurred, he said.

From University of Cincinnati News

By Tim Tedeschi

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Inflammation and Stroke

Deprivation of brain oxygen and nutrient supply due to reduced or interrupted blood flow leads to stroke. Such condition seeks immediate medical attention; if treated promptly, brain damage and other complications arising from stroke can be prevented. Inflammation in the brain produced by the stroke is involved in every phase of stroke (acute, sub-acute, and chronic) and can exacerbate the damage and brain dysfunction caused by all types of stroke (ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke, including intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)).

Nurse Assessing Stroke Victim By Raising Arms. Image Credit: SpeedKingz / Shutterstock

Nurse Assessing Stroke Victim By Raising Arms. Image Credit: SpeedKingz / Shutterstock

There are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke – which accounts for 80% of all stroke cases, and occurs due to blockage in the arteries which supply blood to the brain; and hemorrhagic stroke – which occurs due to leaking or bursting of a blood vessel. The main signs and symptoms of stroke include speech difficulties, confusion, paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, vision problem, headache, and troubled locomotion.

Inflammation, which is body’s immune response to harmful agents/injuries, plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke. Many cells, such as white blood cells, platelets, endothelial cells, and mast cells get activated during inflammation process, and start releasing proinflammatory mediators such as histamine, prostaglandin, lysosomal compounds, and cytokines to trigger vasodilation and increase blood vessel permeability. As a result, blood supply to the injured or affected area increases, which, in turn, brings more defense cells to the affected site and triggers the healing process.

In case of ischemic stroke or brain injury due to lack of oxygen, both acute and chronic inflammatory processes get activated. Such phenomena are characterized by rapid activation of microglia (resident macrophage cells which act as the first line of defense system in the central nervous system), production of proinflammatory mediators, and infiltration of inflammatory cells such as neutrophils, T cells, macrophages, phagocytes etc. to the site of injury.

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Brain injury: New target may help eliminate inflammation

By Maria Cohut, Ph.D. on November 9, 2018 — Fact checked by Jasmin Collier


When traumatic brain injury occurs, it triggers inflammation of the nervous system, which can further harm brain health. However, researchers are looking into preventing that inflammatory response by targeting one type of brain cell.

fighting brain inflammation concept illustration


Researchers from Ohio State University in Columbus have recently conducted a study in mice, investigating a new cellular target with the potential to prevent inflammation following traumatic brain injury.

More specifically, they tested a drug that allowed them to block the activity of microglia, a type of nerve cell with a key role in the immune response.

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‘Robust’ Evidence Found That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is a Physical Illness

New research suggests a common biomarker for inflammation is present for years in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

People with chronic fatigue syndrome often have trouble explaining why they feel exhausted and in pain.

Much like a mental illness, many people suffering from the illness have had their symptoms dismissed as being “all in their heads.”

But that’s not necessarily true.

New research shows the first “robust” evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) — medically known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) — is a physical disorder that may be kick-started by an infection.

From Healthline

By Brian Krans

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