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MicroRNAs can be measured in blood as proxies for mild traumatic brain injury

Date:
November 10, 2014
Source:
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)
Summary:
Scientists at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences have discovered a panel of small biological molecules called microRNAs, which can be utilized to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), according to a study released in PLOS ONE, "Identification of Serum MicroRNA Signatures for Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Closed Head Injury Model," Nov. 7, 2014.
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Scientists at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences have discovered a panel of small biological molecules called microRNAs, which can be utilized to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), according to a study released in PLOS ONE, "Identification of Serum MicroRNA Signatures for Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Closed Head Injury Model," Nov. 7, 2014.

Mild TBI is referred to as the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A majority of TBI sustained in combat are mTBI. Diagnosis of mTBI currently is difficult because of lack of reliable diagnostic technology and apparent symptoms can be similar to effects of other psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians today use patients' self-report and expensive brain imaging to detect mTBI. However, no reliable diagnostic biological assays exist for mTBI and, as a result, cases are often missed or misdiagnosed.

MicroRNAs have recently gained a lot of attention for their utility in blood based diagnosis in many diseases. Dr. Radha K. Maheshwari, professor of Pathology at the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, along with his team including Dr. Anuj Sharma, Mr. Raghavendar Chandran, Ms. Erin S Barry, Dr. Manish Bhomia, Dr. Mary Anne Hutchison, Dr. Nagaraja S. Balakathiresan, and Dr. Neil E Grunberg, examined the changes in blood microRNAs in response to various intensities of brain injury resulting in mTBI. These scientists identified a unique and specific group of microRNAs which were detected in blood immediately after the injury to the brain. These results suggest that the microRNAs can be measured in the blood as proxies for mTBI. The microRNA panel identified in this study is unique and does not overlap with blood microRNAs of post-traumatic stress disorder, as reported in a study by Maheshwari and his team published earlier this year in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

"This important finding is a step forward in identifying objective biomarkers for mTBI that may be further validated to accurately and cost-effectively identify mTBI in service members and civilians with brain injuries. Our current effort is to identify the precise role these microRNAs play in mTBI which may help in development of mTBI therapies" Dr. Maheshwari added.


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Materials provided by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anuj Sharma, Raghavendar Chandran, Erin S. Barry, Manish Bhomia, Mary Anne Hutchison, Nagaraja S. Balakathiresan, Neil E. Grunberg, Radha K. Maheshwari. Identification of Serum MicroRNA Signatures for Diagnosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Closed Head Injury Model. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (11): e112019 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112019

Cite This Page:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). "MicroRNAs can be measured in blood as proxies for mild traumatic brain injury." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141110150826.htm>.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). (2014, November 10). MicroRNAs can be measured in blood as proxies for mild traumatic brain injury. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141110150826.htm
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). "MicroRNAs can be measured in blood as proxies for mild traumatic brain injury." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141110150826.htm (accessed May 26, 2024).

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