Dynamic changes in the recovery after traumatic brain injury in mice: Effect of injury severity on T2-weighted MRI abnormalities, and motor and cognitive functions

Jeanna Tsenter, Liana Beni-Adani, Yaniv Assaf, Alexander G. Alexandrovich, Victoria Trembovler, Esther Shohami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Memory and neurobehavioral dysfunctions are among the sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Neurological Severity Score (NSS) includes 10 tasks and was previously designed to assess the functional status of mice after TBI. The object recognition task (ORT) measures specific episodic memory and is expressed by the percent time spent by an animal at a novel, unfamiliar object (Discrimination Index [DI]). It is an ideal tool for evaluating cognitive function after TBI. The present study sought to validate the use of the NSS and ORT in severe and mild focal TBI in mice, and to confirm that the spontaneous recovery and the radiological abnormalities, shown by T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are dependent upon injury severity. Mice were subjected to severe and mild closed head injury (NSS at 1 h 7.52 ± 0.34 and 4.62 ± 0.14, respectively). NSS was evaluated for 25 days and showed a decrease by 3.86 ± 0.26 and 2.54 ± 0.35 units in the severely and mildly injured mice, respectively. ORT revealed DI in severely injured group of 51.7 ± 6.15%, (vs ∼75-80% in uninjured animal) on day 3 and 66.2 ± 6.81% on day 21. In contrast, the mildly injured mice did not show cognitive impairment throughout the same period. The damage seen by MRI at 24 h after injury, strongly correlated with NSS(1h) (R = 0.87, p < 0.001). We conclude that NSS is a reliable tool for evaluation of neurological damage in head-injured mice, NSS(1h) predicts the motor dysfunction, cognitive damage, and brain-damage characteristics as depicted by T2-weighted MRI. The combined assessment of neurobehavioral and cognitive function along with MRI is most useful in evaluating recovery from injury, especially when testing effectiveness of novel treatments or genetic manipulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Closed head injury
  • Memory
  • Object recognition
  • Outcome measures

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