Trauma newsround – 21/06/2013

21 June 2013

Each week, the SRMRC will look at some of the major trauma research stories from around the world. This week, the US government develops a new facilty to study traumatic brain injury, reseachers in Pittsburgh identify similarities between the symptoms of traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease, and a team in Singapore demonstrates a new approach to DNA sequencing which could improve the diagnosis of wound infections.

US opens brain tissue bank

The US Department of Defense has established The Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Brain Tissue Repository for traumatic brain injury (TBI) to advance the understanding and treatment in traumatic brain injury.

The facility will be based at Bethesda, Maryland, as a brain-tissue bank where scientists will study those who have suffered from TBI so they can find answers to better help those who have served in the U.S. military.

Researchers identify Alzheimer’s / TBI similarities

Patients with mild traumatic brain injury have white matter abnormalities that are similar to those in early Alzheimer’s dementia, with abnormalities correlating with post-concussion symptoms, according to a study published online June 18 in Radiology.

Dr Saeed Fakhran, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues retrospectively evaluated diffusion-tensor images from 64 consecutive patients with mild TBI who underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Measures of white matter integrity were used to generate fractional anisotropy (FA) maps.

SRMRC is currently running two clinical trials of drugs for use in patients with traumatic brain injury, known as SyNAPSe and SIReNS. Research is also underway into diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injury.


Singapore-based scientists have developed a revolutionary method to improve the efficiency of high-throughput genome sequencing, a technology at the cutting edge of identifying infections in trauma patients.

The technique, known as a pre-whitening matched filter, is widely used in cell phones and radar but this is the first time it has been adapted to the analysis of high-throughput DNA sequencing data. The development was recently published in the prestigious journal, Nature Biotechnology.

SRMRC is currently carrying out research using high-throughput DNA sequencing to improve our understanding of microbial infections and how they spread.