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Brain injuries can trigger immune sytem responses

As you are probably well aware, a brain injury can affect you in a lot of ways. But, did you know that it can affect the way your immune system works? A brain injury can change your immune system so that it attacks your brain cells, which can make the effects of the brain injury worse.

One theory that is being considered is that brain injuries break the blood-brain barrier, which allows the immune system's cells to destroy brain cells, including healthy brain cells.

The theory is that a component dubbed CD74 is responsible for the effects of the immune system after a brain injury. In mice, the presence of CD74, which is an immune system component, was associated with larger brain lesions. That led researchers to hypothesize that people who have a fully functioning immune system might suffer from worse effects after a brain injury.

It is believed that a person's immune system response to the brain injury can lead to brain cells breaking down, which causes a greater degree of long-term damage. There is a possible treatment that could stop this from happening. The treatment is called CAP, which is a treatment that stops the T-cells from activating after an injury.

In mice, the CAP treatment seemed to be an effective way to stop the larger lesions from forming after a brain injury because it stopped the immune system response. It is unclear if this will be able to be performed successfully on human subjects, but it does show the depth of research that occurs in an effort to help brain injury victims.

People who have suffered from a brain injury often try to find the most up-to-date methods for treating the brain injury. While that is probably best, that can also be costly. Seeking compensation could be a way to afford those treatments without breaking the bank.

Source: Eureka Alert, "Head injury causes the immune system to attack the brain," accessed Aug. 12, 2016

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