What Causes Swelling After Brain Injuries?


A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are trying to discover the cause of brain swelling after a traumatic brain injury. Prior research has indicated that swelling occurs along the axon, which is the brain cell’s most elastic part. “One of the main things you see in the brains of patients who have died because of a TBI is swellings along the axons,” said one of the researchers. “Inside axons are microtubules, which act like tracks for transporting molecular cargo along the axon. When they break, there’s an interruption in the flow of this cargo and it starts to accumulate, which is why you get these swellings.” Researchers hope to develop new axon-specific treatments for traumatic brain injuries.

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