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Medicine Science

Bomb Blasts Alter Brain Lipid Levels 105

Posted by timothy
from the easily-treated-with-peanut-butter dept.
MTorrice writes "About 320,000 soldiers returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have struggled with neurological problems associated with traumatic brain injury, according to the Rand Corporation. Some veterans experience symptoms, such as memory loss and anxiety, without noticeable physical signs of brain injury. Now researchers report a possible chemical signature: Levels of a certain lipid spike in the brains of mice exposed to mild explosions (abstract; full article paywalled). This lipid could serve as a way to diagnose people who are at risk of developing neurological disorders after a blast, the scientists say."
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Bomb Blasts Alter Brain Lipid Levels

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @01:49PM (#42658823) Journal

    Given how vital lipids are to proper brain function(cellular function generally; but nerve tissue has tons of the things even by comparison to other tissues), it seems like a very ominous sign that blast trauma too minor to cause injuries visible even with an optical microscope causes noticeable changes in the lipids floating around... Even if the neural network isn't structurally disrupted at a visible scale, interference with lipids involved in chemical or electrical nerve signalling would still cause changes in how the network functions(since the characteristics of the paths are still changing, even if connections aren't being severed outright).

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