University of Colorado Boulder

Hypocretin Replacement as a Countermeasure for Sleep-Wake Disturbances in a Mouse Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

The effects of traumatic brain injury persist far longer than just the acute, post-injury period. Individuals suffering TBI often complain of disrupted sleep, which effects cognitive performance and mood, among other symptoms. These symptoms may persist for years or decades. This project tests the hypothesis that replacement of a key brain chemical will alleviate post-TBI sleep disturbances. During the first year of funding from MINDSOURCE, the team collected tissue from 55 experimental mice to determine effects of TBI on the brain cells that contain brain chemical in which they are interested. Approximately 50% of the tissue we collected was processed before research halted in response to COVID-19. They anticipate returning to (limited) research in the very near future, and will continue processing these samples. Once tissue processing is complete, they will have a good assessment of TBI on these types of brain cells, and will then proceed to the next phase of the study.

Year

  • 2020

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Mike Opp

University of Denver

Intimate Partner Abuse and Traumatic Brain Injury

Despite domestic violence often involving physical blows, remarkably little is known about traumatic brain injury (TBI) among victims and survivors as well as the impact of TBI on health service need and use. To address this urgent gap, this project enrolls women seeking services for domestic violence at the Rose Andom Center into a two-session study; they have enrolled 43 women to date. Among the first 33 women interviewed, nearly all (94%) reported at least one head injury from an external blow to the head; and most women (64%) reported a period of time when they sustained multiple head injuries in a row, often due to abuse. Women reported an average of five current post-concussive symptoms (e.g., memory problems, concentration problems, headaches). Women reported significant health problems, including an average of more than eight physical health symptoms in the past year; half of women indicated limitations during moderate activities (e.g., cleaning, exercise) and 60% said they had limitations climbing several flights of stairs.

Year

  • 2021

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Anne DePrince

Craig Hospital

Role and Neuroanatomic Basis of Concurrent Medical Conditions in Outcome Following Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Development of a TBI-Specific Index

Coming Soon

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Harrison-Felix

University of Colorado at Denver

Microbiome, Inflammation, and Gut Permeability: The Onset of Psychiatric Conditions Among Those with Acute Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)

This project aims to explore impact of acute mTBI on the human microbiome and the effects of the human microbiome on mental health outcomes post-injury. Since the start of this longitudinal study, regulatory approval has been obtained and study personnel were hired and trained. Nine participants have been recruited. Initial samples at baseline were obtained and ongoing data collection has been initiated. During the pause of recruitment due to COVID-19, follow-up data collection has continued for those previously enrolled in the study.

Year

  • 2020

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Lisa Brenner

University of CO/Children's Hospital

Initiation of an Early Exercise Program to Improve Symptoms and Psychosocial Function after Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

The team has begun enrolling participants in a randomized clinical trial investigating the effect of early sub-symptom aerobic exercise on psychosocial outcomes, and monitoring participants for the subsequent two months. Data thus far indicates a beneficial effect of early exercise on persistent post-concussion symptoms and anxiety, relative to standard-of-care. However, these data are preliminary and the team requires an additional year of participant enrollment and data collection to ensure the study aims are achieved, and they are appropriately powered to disseminate any of our findings. Given the restrictions to in-person clinical research imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have begun implementing methods to switch to remote/telehealth examinations when possible, and to ensure social distancing and reductions in person-to-person contact when this is necessary. Upon re-activation authorization, they will continue to enroll, but only perform necessary in-person assessments (e.g. aerobic exercise testing) in a safe manner (social distancing, no patient overlap, appropriate personal protective equipment), while all other assessments (e.g. questionnaires) along with the informed consent procedures will be performed remotely.

Year

  • 2020

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. David Howell

University of Colorado

Machine Learning and Cytotoxic Edema in Abusive Head Trauma

The core objective of this project is to improve care of children with traumatic brain injury and concern for abuse by using machine learning to recognize new patterns of brain injury that are associated with abuse and with poor outcomes. The team has developed cutting-edge MRI-based imaging methods, and are well-suited to identify new patterns of brain injury that can be used to improve diagnosis and predictions for clinical care. The core methods of this project are to combine clinical and imaging data for approximately 500 children with severe brain injury, and to use traditional and machine-learning analysis to identify characteristics associated with abuse and with poor outcomes. In the first year, they have accomplished the clinical objectives ahead of schedule. Having planned to collect data on approximately 250 eligible subjects, they now anticipate complete data collection on nearly 500 subjects. They obtained Institutional Review Board approval ahead of schedule and have added all new investigators to the research team. Though they were unexpectedly faced with the loss of our statistical and machine-learning partners, they were able to establish improved partnerships within the University, including a new partnership with Terri Lewis, another MINDSOURCE investigator. They have identified imaging studies for the nearly 500 participants, and have established a confidential imaging export protocol, and processes to compare studies across age and size. They anticipate beginning core machine-learning analyses early in the second year of the project. The work has been largely unaffected by the COVID pandemic, and they are able to continue all research activities despite a shutdown of the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Year

  • 2020

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Daniel Lindberg

University of Colorado

A Longitudinal, Multi-Dimensional Assessment of Recovery and Added Benefit of a Behavioral Health Intervention for Children with Abusive Head Trauma

This project began July 1, 2017, was granted a no-cost extension and will end June 30, 2020. Recruitment for participants continued from July 1, 2019 and discontinued January 1, 2020 due to the longitudinal nature of the study and intervention period. Between July 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, there were 18 new admissions to the NABICC clinic. Of those, 14 were ineligible for participation due to study exclusions (age, geographic area, non-English speaking). Two were approached but decline participation, one was discharged before approached for consent, and one family was consented into the study. They completed the 12-month data collection interview for two families. One family is still in the data collection phase. All study measures were scored. Descriptive analyses were initiated and algorithms to code injury severity are underway.

Year

  • 2019

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Terry Lewis

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