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Is There a Link Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Alzheimer’s?

According to bostonglobe.com, there is new research to indicate that the answer may be yes…Even just one moderate to severe head injury can disrupt a group of proteins that regulate an enzyme associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Altered Proteins and Enzyme Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists from Tuft University School of Medicine and from Harvard Medical School measured the levels of protein in the brains of mice two days after they had suffered a moderate to severe head injury. The researchers found a decreased number of two proteins, GGA1 and GGA3, and an increased level of the enzyme BACE1, which has previously been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. They subsequently studied brain tissue from patients that suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and found similar protein reductions and increased levels of enzymes to those found in the mice they had previously studied.

Their findings suggest that a single moderate to severe brain injury could disrupt the proteins that regulate the enzyme associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Study May Have Identified Culprit Protein

Upon conducting further experiments on rats, the team found that one week following traumatic brain injury, BACE1 and amyloid-beta levels remained elevated even when GGA1 levels had returned to normal. These results suggest that reduced levels of the protein GGA3 were responsible for the increase levels of the BACE 1 enzyme, as well as for the sustained amyloid-beta production observed even seven days after injury.

Explaining the process as they now see it, Neuroscientist Giuseppina Tesco, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), stated that “”When the proteins are at normal levels, they work as a clean up crew for the brain by regulating the removal of BACE1 enzymes and facilitating their transport to lysosomes within brain cells, an area of the cell that breaks down and removes excess cellular material. BACE1 enzyme levels may be stabilized when levels of the two proteins are low, likely caused by an interruption in the natural disposal process of the enzyme”.

According to Dr. Tesco, both proteins (GGA1 and GGA3) act together to regulate the levels of BACE1 enzyme after the injury, something that may help produce a drug to help regulate the enzyme artificially, something that would be of great benefit to Alzheimer’s patients.

TBIs Very Common Result of Car Accidents

Moderate-to-severe TBIs are often the result of injuries caused by severe falls or motor vehicle accidents, that result in a loss of consciousness. Thankfully, not all traumas to the head result in a traumatic brain injury. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million people sustain some kind of traumatic brain injury each year in this country. Concussions are the mildest form of a TBI, accounting for about 75% of all traumatic brain injuries. There are some previous studies that have linked single events of brain trauma to brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s, a disease that currently affects as many as 5.1 million Americans and is the most common cause of dementia in adults age 65 and over.

When these injuries are caused by accidents that result from someone else’s negligent actions, we may be able to help the victims recover the funds necessary for their expensive rehabilitation therapy.

The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help

With over 67 years of combined experience, the lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano can help victims that have suffered any kind of traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident recover the funds they need for their rehabilitation. These funds may include money for the expensive treatments mentioned in these posts, for rehabilitation therapy, for your pain and suffering and for lost wages. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident, a truck accident, an amusement park accident or as a result of any other kind of accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases.

Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Traumatic Brain Injury Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have represented many clients that have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

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