Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability under the age of 45 years in Western countries (Jennett, 1998). Despite many studies, no reliable biomarkers have yet been found to assess the severity and predict recovery. TBI patient are initially assessed by the Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) which is subjective and often unreliable and neuroimaging techniques are costly and can only be performed in hospital.
Investigation of microRNAs (miRNA) as biomarkers of TBI. MiRNA’s play a central role in many biological processes including cell cycle, cell metabolism, apoptosis and immune responses and are attracting increasing interest in clinical research as potential biomarkers for the detection, identification and classification of cancers and other disease states including neurodegenerative diseases.
Project aims to identify biomarkers of mild and severe TBI in saliva (ease of access and non-invasiveness would make this technique particularly suitable for children) and to detect biomarkers soon after injury as part of the initial assessment by paramedics and Emergency Departments.
The early identification of these biomarkers could allow clinicians to recognise and treat those patient at risk of secondary injury while they are still capable of responding to therapy and before irreversible damages occur.