A study of mice at Georgetown University Medical Center shows that a new class of Alzheimer’s disease drugs may prevent long-term damage from traumatic brain injury. The drugs are designed to target plaque that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Why would this help in brain injury? Because “abnormal amounts of amyloid plaque have been found during an autopsy in about a third of brain injury victims, some of whom were children who would ordinarily never have had these deposits,” Mark Burns, a neuroscientist and assistant professor at Georgetown and the study’s lead author, said in a university news release. “Remarkably, these deposits occur in less than one day after injury.”
Those suffering from a brain injury have a 400 percent increased risk of developing Alzhiemer’s – According to Burns, one reason the study found may be due to the fact that “the same pathways activated chronically in Alzheimer’s disease are activated acutely in traumatic brain injury and that they appear to play a very important role in secondary injury.”