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Antibody Therapy Blocks Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

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Tracy Hampton, PhD

September 1, 2015

Treating mice with an antibody against the cis form of phosphorylated tau protein (cis P-tau) can prevent some of the pathological changes that occur after traumatic brain injury (TBI), researchers report (Kondo A et al. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature14658 [published online July 15, 2015]).

Investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and their colleagues modeled sport- and military-related TBI in mice by exposing them to impact or blast injury. After TBI was induced in mice, the researchers observed robust and persistent elevations in cis P-tau, which caused injury to axons and disrupted axonal mitochondria and microtubule scaffolding. Subsequently, cis P-tau spread in the brain over time, leading to massive apoptotic cell death. The findings add to the investigators’ previous research showing that cis P-tau has an early pathological role in Alzheimer disease (Nakamura K et al. Cell. 2012;149[1]:232-244) and suggest that “cistauosis” may be a common early disease mechanism in TBI, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and Alzheimer disease.

Treatment with the cis antibody blocked the spread of cis P-tau in mice and reversed many TBI-related structural and functional effects within the brain, as well as behavioral aspects of the condition. Further development of the antibody may lead to improved treatment outcomes for TBI.

 read more at JAMA

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