Cerebral Injury Overview

Cerebral injury, which includes traumatic brain injury (including concussion) as well as acute ischemic stroke, is caused by an injury to the brain, whether a blow or jolt to the brain or a penetrating injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain, or a loss of blood flow to the brain (i.e. ischemic injury).  These injuries may lead to a loss of consciousness, bleeding in and around the brain, or brain cell death due to a lack of oxygen.  Cerebral injury is common, with about 3.3 million events each year in the US, though it has been estimated that this figure may be as high as 4.6 million events per year, as mild traumatic brain injury (i.e. concussion) is known to be underreported.  Traumatic brain injury, including concussion, and stroke have been described as serious public health problems by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cerebral injury can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficits.  Patients can experience cognitive dysfunction (e.g., attention and memory deficits), problems in motor function (e.g., impaired coordination and balance), and emotional issues (e.g., depression and anxiety).

Cerebral injury has significant inflammatory and apoptotic components. Neuroinflammation is one of the main components of cerebral injury pathophysiology.  No approved therapeutic is currently available to treat traumatic brain injury or concussion.  Only one therapeutic is currently approved to treat stroke, but due to restrictions on usage this therapeutic is only used in less than 7% of patients despite being commercially available for over ten years.

Please see heme oxygenase in cerebral injury for more information.


Cerebral Injury

- Affects over 3.3 MM people in the US every year
- Named a serious health problem - CDC
- Associated with neurological deficits

CT scan showing brain injury, including hemorrhage, contusions, Source: Rehman T, et al

CT scan showing brain injury, including hemorrhage, contusions,
Source: Rehman T, et al