What the Future Might Hold for Treating Brain Injury

Neuroscientist Dr. Ronald Hayes talks about how, in the future, doctors will be able to map a person's genome, which could help how treatments are developed for brain injury.

See more videos with Dr. Ronald Hayes.

A great question is, so you diagnose a brain injury, so what? What are you going to do about it? And in fact, that's been the question that has been used to say that biomarkers are really not needed or relevant. The truth is, in fact, there are no FDA approved therapies for treatment of acute injury to the brain other than TPA for a stroke, for ischemic stroke. There's a term called theranostics where you combine therapy and diagnostics, and this is the approach that people are taking in a variety of injury and disease states, such as cancer, but the way medicine wants to go and will go is that ultimately you'll have your entire genome available to your physician, all that it predicts. Craig Venter now is of course on a massive project. He mapped his own genome, a very interesting act, but he's now mapping the genomes of hundreds of other people, so you need to understand variability in the genome in humans and how that predicts vulnerability to disease. When we have that, which we will, and we have huge data sets on all the behavior of our biomarkers, we're creating what's called common data elements in traumatic brain injury, a very exciting effort. The medicine of the future will be deeply embedded in huge data sets that sit in the cloud and that will allow a physician with the same facility that we get an iTune downloaded to download information that would personalize the therapy for you.
Posted on BrainLine April 2, 2013.

Produced by Brian King, Vicky Youcha, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.