BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


DOE National Lab Research Shows What Happens in the Brain after a Head Injury and Suggests Totally New Treatment Approach
Published: September 20, 2004
Posted: October 12, 2004

A team of scientists used radiotracer imaging technology to show what happens to the brain during the first hours after a head injury. It has been known for some time that immediately after injury there is a large outflow of glutamate, a chemical neurotransmitter essential for learning and memory in the normal brain. Excess stimulation of receptors for glutamate can kill the hyper-activated nerve cells. Therefore, drugs that can block glutamate receptors were developed for the treatment of brain injury. However, this approach has failed in thousands of head injured subjects enrolled in several large clinical studies. This new imaging study explains this failure by showing that the window of opportunity for effectively blocking the receptors is very short (less than one hour), and is followed by an extended period in which the receptors are under-stimulated and treatment with a glutamate-receptor stimulating drug at this point greatly improved memory function. Thus for the first time we know, said Dr. Biegon, that actively stimulating brain cells after injury is beneficial rather than detrimental to recovery. Under DOE support, this research was performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by Dr. Anat Biegon before she moved to Brookhaven National Laboratory. This study was published in the April 6, 2004, issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and has been the subject of recent news media stories including NBC news (September 14, 2004).

Contact: Prem Srivastava, SC-73, (301) 903-4071
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Human Subjects Research
  • Legacy: Radiochemistry and Instrumentation

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-73 Medical Sciences Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)