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Abstract #1409

Experimental TBI Results in Pathophysiology Resembling Motor Neuron Disease

David K Wright 1,2 , Chris Van Der Poel 3 , Li Yang 4 , Stuart McDonald 3 , Roger Ordidge 1 , Terence J O'Brien 4 , Leigh A Johnston 5 , and Sandy R Shultz 4

1 Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2 The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3 Department of Human Biosciences, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia, 4 Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 5 NeuroEngineering Laboratory, School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been controversially proposed as a risk factor for the later onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here we studied the potential relationship between TBI and ALS in an experimental model of TBI using MRI, pathology and behavioural analyses. TBI rats had significant motor cortex atrophy, corticospinal tract degeneration, increased expression of TDP-43, motor neuron loss, increased expression of m-calpain and atrogin-1, muscle atrophy and behavioural impairments. Taken together, these findings resemble the pathological and functional abnormalities common in ALS, and support the notion that TBI can induce a progressive ALS-like disease process.

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