Brain Damage Recovery: Is It Possible With Cell Therapy?
Head Matters: Cell Therapy and Brain Damage
Brain damage or brain injury is the destruction of the brain or brain cells by internal or external factors. Brain injury can be divided into different categories such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
Patients suffering from brain damage are associated with social, cognitive, physical difficulties and in association with change in their identity.
Facts & Figures
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic brain injury is responsible for about 30% of deaths resulting from an injury. In the United States alone, around 153 people die every day from injuries involving TBI. Women are less prone to injury as compared to men, and the median age ranged from 29 to 45 years.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is a common neurological disorder estimated to occur in one per 500 of world population and found in children under four, adults under 30, and population over 65 years of age.
According to the World Health Organization, the brain damage and brain injury issues will continue to be a significant health problem and the primary reason for disability leading into 2020.
Management of Brain Damage and Related Injuries with Cell Therapy
Brain damage treatment is managed symptomatically depending upon the condition of damage. Severe brain damages need immediate attention and require maintenance of normal physiology.
In acute injuries, prevention of secondary injury is considered important. Various class of drugs is given for symptomatic treatment of brain damage, some of the most useful are glutamate receptor antagonists, dopaminergic and beta-blockers.
Some of the potential treatments for brain injury includes ion channel antagonists such as calcium channel antagonists, growth factors, antioxidants, stem cells, apoptosis inhibitors and inhibitors of other signal modulators.
Emerging on the horizon, Cell Therapy offers significant hope for addressing brain damage or injury. However, the best treatment is still prevention. Once brain injury/ damage occurs, the treatment is dependent on the stage of the patient.
In the acute phase, the primary aim is to stabilise the patient and focus on preventing further injury. Surgery is sometimes necessary to remove damaged blood vessels or tissue, as well as provide relief from swelling.
Rehabilitation is then the main treatment for the sub-acute and chronic stages of recovery. In recent years, Cell Therapy has been embraced as a therapy for brain damage or brain injuries.
Cell Therapy can arrest further brain damage and promote healing with the live cells from the therapy migrating to the site of injury where they reduce inflammation and enable a tissue-protective effect.
Therapeutic cell-based treatments could assist in reducing brain injury via neuroprotection and promote brain regeneration with the aim of restoring functional and cognitive recovery.
What Is Brain Damage
Brain damage or injury to the brain occurs due to deformation of brain tissue components like axons and microvessels.
In general, brain damage refers to significant, undiscriminating trauma-induced damage, while neurotoxicity typically refers to selective, chemically induced neuron damage.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain damage or Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is brain damage resulted from external force or physical trauma like assaults, falls, vehicle collisions, sports collisions, and combats.
Further mild and severe Traumatic brain injury includes closed-head injuries, concussions or contusions and penetrating head injuries.
> Traumatic Brain Injury And Cell Therapy
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Acquired brain damage or Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to brain damage that occurs at a cellular level and caused by stroke, surgery, brain tumor, infection, chemical or toxic poisoning, hypoxia, and ischemia.
Brain Injury Classified
Depending upon the injury processes, brain injury can be classified as a “primary brain injury” and “secondary brain injury“.
Primary brain injury is caused during initial trauma resulted at the moment of injury, whereas secondary brain injury, accounts for various cellular processes that take place after initial trauma such as ischemic and hypoxic damage, cerebral edema, raised intracranial pressure, hydrocephalus, and infection.
Affected regions of the brain have deformed tissue with loss of function, depicting neuronal death. This damage spread to nearby cells and adjacent neurons causing entire surrounding tissue damage and ischemia with series of downstream event.
The mechanisms involved in these destructive events are the loss of cellular calcium homeostasis, hyper-excitation of glutamatergic receptors, energy depletion, production of harmful free radicals and tissue acidosis.
Causes & Risk Factors
Brain damage is caused due to various factors, some of which are cerebral hypoxia/ischemia, iodine deficiency, alcohol-specific brain damage particularly in the cerebral cortex (superior frontal association cortex), hypothalamus (supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei), and cerebellum part of the brain.
Reasons for traumatic brain damage are traffic accidents, assaults, falls while non-traumatic causes are complications or blockage in brain blood supply like hemorrhage or stroke, difficulties in oxygen supply like hypoxia, inflammation and swelling in the brain like encephalitis and tumor in meningioma.
Other causes of damage are toxicity, surgery, and infection.
To conclude, brain damage or brain injury is destruction or disruption of the normal functioning of the brain caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury caused by external forces.
People of every age group are prone to brain damage. Cell Therapy today serves as a potential treatment for brain damage repair and recovery.
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