Traumatic Brain Injury is Third-Leading Cause of Death and Disability

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Introduction: At least, 2.4 million traumatic brain injury (TBI) related hospital visit each year in USA and WHO predicting that TBI will be the third leading cause of death and disability worldwide by 2020 (Hyder, Wunderlich et al. 2007, Centers for Disease and Prevention 2013). Approximately one percent Americans older than 60 years old are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD)(Gazewood, Richards et al. 2013). Millions of them have to adapt to the extensive long-term disability, but its impact does not end there. They often have to depend on other people’s continuous support to survive that significantly impacts our healthcare burden (Stacey L. Kowal 2013). A new meta-analysis and other recent studies provide support for the association of history of head injury (e.g., boxing as in Muhammad Ali’s case leading to PD symptoms) with a higher risk of PD (Goldman, Tanner et al. 2006, Lee, Bordelon et al. 2012, Harris, Shen et al. 2013, Jafari, Etminan et al. 2013). But the pathological link between TBI and PD remains not fully understood and α-synuclein (α-Syn) may play a crucial role (Shahaduzzaman, Acosta et al. 2013). The overall hypothesis for this project is that repeated mild TBI or a moderate TBI when combined with targeted PD gene α-Syn mutations will magnify the pathological link between TBI and PD by accelerating accumulation of α-Syn via altering mitochondrial function and inducing neuroinflammation. Although genetic PD animal models allow us evaluations of…

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