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Research on Post-Traumatic Depression Research on Post-Traumatic Depression

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So depression is another common complication after a brain injury. It's the most common mood disorder that occurs after brain injury. And so really for rehab physicians and other caregivers and healthcare practitioners, dealing with people who've had brain injury it's a good idea to keep this in mind because depression, whether it's in the setting of brain injury or not, can have an important effect on cognition, and that obviously has implications for how people recover after their injury. Neurotransmitters are an important component of all elements of brain functioning including the--we think--the development of post-traumatic depression. And so, we are seeing some genetic susceptibility markers involving neurotransmitter systems that have previously been implicated in depression, and also in other types of brain chemicals called neurotrophins, and the ability that neurotrophins might have to help resist the development of depression after brain injury. And what we find very intriguing about the neurotrophin connection to depression is that neurotrophins can be very easily manipulated by environment--your environment, and activity. So exercise is a potent stimulator of neurotrophins. And so as a rehab physician looking at chemicals that can be impacted by activity, by exercise, are very encouraging for us because we would hope to be able to identify treatment strategies that might actually manipulate the physiology in a positive way to help either prevent the development or at least lessen the severity of depression that people do go through often after their injury.

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Dr. Amy Wagner talks about current research on depression — how it can affect cognition, which in turn can affect how people recover from TBI.

See "The Pathology of TBI-Related Seizures," also with Dr. Amy Wagner.

Produced by Brian King, Vicky Youcha, and Lara Collins, BrainLine.

Related Content

  • video content iconSome 20-60% of people with a TBI experience depression soon after the injury or even years later. Learn why it's so prevalent. Why Is Depression the Number One Symptom After a Brain Injury?
  • video content iconFatigue, problems with sleep or concentration, and lack of energy or interest may be their own symptoms, not depression. When Depression Is Not Depression After a TBI
  • video content iconChanges in or damage to the brain make emotional and behavioral issues common after a TBI. Learn Why Aggression, Irritability, and Depression Are Common After Brain Injury
  • video content iconDr. Nathan Zasler, an internationally respected physician specialist in brain injury care and rehabilitation, talks about what caregivers should know if their loved one with TBI develops depression. This is an excerpt from BrainLine's webcast Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know. See full webcast here. Why Is Depression Common After Brain Injury?
  • video content icon Healthy Minds is a 13-part award-winning TV series about the latest research and insights about mental illness, created to help reduce the stigma associated with psychiatric disease, which often prevents patients and their families from getting needed help. This 30-minute segment on depression features veteran newsman Mike Wallace and his wife Mary, who discuss how they dealt with his depression and reveal intimate details about his suicide attempt and ultimate recovery. From WLIW21 Public Television, in conjunction with NARSAD. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Third-party use restricted. www.wliw.org. Transcript of this Video. Depression with Mike Wallace


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