Immune system compromised after a concussion: Pills may be in the making as a cure

The processes in which a brain deals with a concussion are many and therefore a variety of treatments are being formulated by many scientists currently involved in research. The latest research points to the immune system and is something to be concerned about, according to a new study published in the Journal Plos One, last week.

As reported by Popular Science, Sub-concussive jostling to the brain could lead to a series of events that ends with cells in the immune system attacking the brain, says Jeffrey Bazarian, a physician at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a co-author on a new study about brain injury as an autoimmune response.

Here is Bazarian and his colleagues’ idea. After a head hit, even if it doesn’t result in a concussion, the blood-brain barrier that separates the brain from the rest of the circulatory system opens up, releasing a brain protein called S100B into the blood. High levels of S100B in the blood are already known as marker for head injury; in Europe, emergency rooms give head injury patients S100B tests to decide whether they need a CAT scan.

We may be onto something here if further research efforts can shed additional light on this issue that may result in a possible pill or vaccine to block the Immune response. Furthermore, testing for S100B may be an ingenious idea for the pediatric population, if safe. It can be a useful measure to prevent unnecessary CAT scans known be harmful to the developing brain.

Here is the full study in PDF for additional information on Bazarian and colleague’s findings.