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J Clin Neurosci. 2010 Feb;17(2):237-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Diffuse neuronal perikaryal amyloid precursor protein immunoreactivity in an ovine model of non-accidental head injury (the shaken baby syndrome).

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Hanson Institute Centre for Neurological Diseases, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia.


Non-accidental head injury ("shaken baby syndrome") is a major cause of death and disability in infants and young children, but it is uncertain whether shaking alone is sufficient to cause brain damage or an additional head impact is required. Accordingly, we used manual shaking in an ovine model in an attempt to answer this question since lambs have a relatively large gyrencephalic brain and weak neck muscles resembling a human infant. Neuronal perikaryal and axonal reactions were quantified 6 hours after shaking using amyloid precursor protein (APP) immunohistochemistry. Neuronal perikaryal APP was widely distributed in the brain and spinal cord, the first time such a diffuse neuronal stress response after shaking has been demonstrated, but axonal immunoreactivity was minimal and largely confined to the rostral cervical spinal cord at the site of maximal loading. No ischaemic-hypoxic damage was found in haematoxylin and eosin-stained sections.

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