High levels of tau protein in brain fluid is linked to poor recovery after head trauma, a new study has revealed.
Researchers at Washington University and the Fondazione IRCCS Ca Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan discovered that while initial tau levels in all injured patients are high and drop off over time, those who experience the highest tau levels in the first 12 hours of monitoring had the worst recovery outcomes six months to a year later.
Assistant professor David L Brody, senior author of the study, stated: “We are particularly interested in finding ways to predict prognosis after traumatic brain injury.”
“If we can identify early who is likely to have a poor outcome, we can design better clinical trials that don’t include those patients who are going to do fine,” he continued.
A processed form of tau protein is also thought to play an active role in Alzheimer’s disease, by inducing brain cell death and neurological decline when expressed in cultured rat hippocampal neurons.
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