Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is very common and affects 1.8 million Europeans seeking medical help each year. TBI is a major challenge for healthcare providers and poses an enormous economic burden. For decades, TBI has been characterized by severity of symptoms for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. However, this classification system is limited since it does not allow to predict long-term outcome after TBI. This state of affairs thus hinders the advancement of TBI research and the development of therapies. The field is thus in dire need of a novel understanding and classification of the individual’s response to brain injury and, most importantly, a fresh perspective on potential targets for effective treatment and prevention of long-term impairment.
My main hypothesis is that brain injury leads to a neurosteroid response with inter-individual variability and that this response is associated with the trajectory of recovery. I further hypothesize, that the most vulnerable patient cohorts, such as adolescent girls, show distinct patterns of neurosteroid response associated with an increased risk for persistent symptoms.
NEUROPRECISE proposes a longitudinal cohort study 1) to characterize neurosteroid response with respect to age and sex in children and adolescents with TBI, 2) to evaluate the association of the neuroimaging derived individual injury profile with neurosteroid response, and 3) to explore individual differences in neurosteroid response as a potential target for acute therapy and prevention of chronic symptoms with respect to age and sex in a rodent model.
NEUROPRECISE will overcome a critical barrier towards the treatment of TBI by establishing a novel, biological-driven way to stratify TBI patients based on inter-individual differences in the response to TBI. By exploring the individual neurosteroid response as potential therapeutic target, NEUROPRECISE will bring the power of precision medicine to neurotrauma research.
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