Toward Disease-Modifying Therapy In Traumatic Brain Injury

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 12:15 PM to 2:15 PM
Type: Plenary
Area: Traumatic Brain Injury
Room: Centennial III & IV

Session Overview

Chair: Steven L. Small, PhD, MD – University of California, Irvine
Co-Chair: Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD – University of Pennsylvania

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common human afflictions, yet until recently the acute and chronic consequences of TBI were often ignored and considered beyond the reach of medical science. Over the past few years, in association with growing societal, governmental, and academic recognition of the effects of TBI, particularly in the context of sports-related concussions and military service-related head injuries, there have been remarkable advances in the clinical and basic neuroscience of TBI.

Correspondingly, the field of TBI pathobiology has transformed into one of the most dynamic and fertile areas of neuroscience research. TBI is increasingly recognized not a single disorder, but a set of heterogeneous injuries of differing severity (ranging from minor to severe), with distinct patterns of pathology that evolve across a broad temporal spectrum, from acute insult to latent neurodegeneration. TBI can also lead to diverse types of neurodegeneration, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The purpose of this Symposium is to bring together researchers focused on the mechanisms and manifestations of acute and chronic human TBI, ranging from mild to severe, including both preclinical, clinical, and translational work, with the goal of pointing the direction for future clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies.


  • Appreciate the complexity of pathologic mechanisms that underlie TBI-related symptoms and disability.

  • Recognize several injury endophenotypes (axonal injury, inflammation, proteinopathy, microvascular injury) that underlie neurological dysfunction after TBI.

  • Understand the value of neuroimaging for identifying injury mechanisms, and how neuroimaging biomarkers can be useful diagnostically and prognostically.

  • Be familiar with the most promising molecular biomarkers of TBI, and how they may be incorporated in future clinical practice.