The Department of Psychology invites you to the second talk of our colloquium series, on Thursday October 19 from 12:30-1:30 pm in West Hall, Auditorium B.
Title: Improving cognitive function after traumatic brain injury (TBI): The use of environmental enrichment and exercise
Speaker: Dr Hala Darwish - Hariri School of Nursing, Abou-Haidar Neuroscience Institute, Nehme & Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center
Abstract: TBI is a head disruption in the normal function of the brain due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Cognitive impairment is a common sequela of mild and severe TBI in both humans and animals. We characterized the pattern of damage to spontaneous object recognition and temporal order memory as well as spatial learning in rats following TBI. Our preliminary data showed long term recognition, temporal order memory, and spatial learning impairment. Persistent spontaneous object recognition and temporal order memory deficits were observed in mild TBI up to 35 days post injury, and familiarity preference at earlier time points. After severe TBI, the rats’ spatial learning was impaired up to 25 days post injury, and exhibited different patterns of spatial memory deficits. Rats with mild TBI followed different spatial search strategies; this deviation is possibly related to encoding deficits. Housing the rats in a stimulating environment, known as environmental enrichment, reversed temporal order memory deficits 7-days post injury. Environmental enrichment and exercise promote neurogenesis and improve memory deficits after brain injury. We hypothesize that the use of environmental enrichment and exercise will reduce memory impairment after TBI, and will be associated with neurogenesis and hippocampal epigenetic changes.
All are invited.