Mild traumatic brain injury induces persistent cognitive deficits and behavioral disturbances in mice

A. Milman, A. Rosenberg, R. Weizman, Chaim G. Pick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Victims of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) do not show clear morphological brain defects, but frequently suffer from long-lasting cognitive deficits, emotional difficulties and behavioral disturbances. In the present study, we investigated the effects of experimental mTBI in mice on cognition, spatial and non-spatial tasks, and depressive-like behavior in mice. Experimental brain injury was induced using a concussive head trauma, which creates the TBI by a weight-drop device. Different groups of mice were tested at 7, 30, 60, and 90 days post-injury for cognitive function (the swim T-maze and the passive avoidance test) and for depression-like behavior (the forced swimming test). These tests have been used infrequently in the past in mTBI research. Significant differences were observed between the injured mice compared to the controls in both the swim T-maze (day 30: p < 0.05) and passive avoidance (day 30: p < 0.05) tests. In addition, a significant difference was detected in the forced swimming test between the injured mice and the controls (day 7: p < 0.05; day 90: p < 0.01), which showed a depressive-like state in the injured animals beginning 7 days post-injury. These results demonstrate that persistent deficits in these tests of cognitive learning abilities and emergence of depressive-like behavior in injured mice are similar to those reported in human post-concussion syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1010
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Cognitive deficits
  • Concussive head trauma model
  • Depressive-like behavior
  • Mild traumatic brain injury


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