An Analysis of the Relationship Between Traumatic Brain Injury and the Development of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Downey, Melissa [Browse]
Senior thesis
129 pages


Stock, Jeffry [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Molecular Biology [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurodegenerative diseases (ND) are two pathologies that are interrelated and widespread. Their close association in individuals with a history of high exposure to head injury as well as individuals that carry certain genetic risk factors has prompted a growing amount of research on their relationship. However, the mechanistic progression connecting the incidence of head trauma to neurological pathology several decades later in life remains unknown. This thesis analyzed a wide range of topics related to both head injuries and neurodegeneration in order to examine where their clinical symptoms and pathophysiologies converge, and to determine the current status and quality of research in these areas. In addition to presenting an overview of the range of TBI and related neurodegenerative disease, this thesis also explored emerging biotechnological techniques applied tho their study. Advanced imaging modalities, exploration of biomarker diagnostic potential, and injury and disease models are discussed. This study concludes with a close look at potential connections between head injuries and neurodegeneration later in life, how current research has informed policy in injury management, and finally a discussion of the next steps of investigation and how the field can improve as a whole.

Supplementary Information