Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health issue costing Americans over 75 billion dollars annually in health care costs and lost productivity. One prominent feature of TBI is that initial injuries predispose individuals to subsequent injuries, and subsequent injuries tend to produce greater functional impairment and permanent tissue damage. Our laboratory focuses on how traumatic brain injuries predispose individuals to subsequent injuries and long term disability and specifically how changes in brain energy metabolism are dysregulated by injury.
Additionally, TBI in young children is a serious but largely unreported public health problem. Individuals that suffer a TBI during childhood are much more likely to have substance abuse issues, difficulty with impulse control, depression, and TBIs in adulthood. Our lab is investigating the long term consequences of early life TBI and studying how a history of TBI in childhood can alter the response to TBI in adulthood.