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J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jul 1;31(13):1211-24. doi: 10.1089/neu.2013.3255. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

The spectrum of neurobehavioral sequelae after repetitive mild traumatic brain injury: a novel mouse model of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

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1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester Medical Center , Rochester, New York.


There has been an increased focus on the neurological sequelae of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly neurodegenerative syndromes, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); however, no animal model exists that captures the behavioral spectrum of this phenomenon. We sought to develop an animal model of CTE. Our novel model is a modification and fusion of two of the most popular models of TBI and allows for controlled closed-head impacts to unanesthetized mice. Two-hundred and eighty 12-week-old mice were divided into control, single mild TBI (mTBI), and repetitive mTBI groups. Repetitive mTBI mice received six concussive impacts daily for 7 days. Behavior was assessed at various time points. Neurological Severity Score (NSS) was computed and vestibulomotor function tested with the wire grip test (WGT). Cognitive function was assessed with the Morris water maze (MWM), anxiety/risk-taking behavior with the elevated plus maze, and depression-like behavior with the forced swim/tail suspension tests. Sleep electroencephalogram/electromyography studies were performed at 1 month. NSS was elevated, compared to controls, in both TBI groups and improved over time. Repetitive mTBI mice demonstrated transient vestibulomotor deficits on WGT. Repetitive mTBI mice also demonstrated deficits in MWM testing. Both mTBI groups demonstrated increased anxiety at 2 weeks, but repetitive mTBI mice developed increased risk-taking behaviors at 1 month that persist at 6 months. Repetitive mTBI mice exhibit depression-like behavior at 1 month. Both groups demonstrate sleep disturbances. We describe the neurological sequelae of repetitive mTBI in a novel mouse model, which resemble several of the neuropsychiatric behaviors observed clinically in patients sustaining repetitive mild head injury.


animal model; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; concussion; mild traumatic brain injury; repetitive

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