Research on Post-Traumatic Depression
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.
Show transcript | Print transcript
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.