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New Brain Injury Research Uses Fruit Flies

Monday, October 14, 2013

Approximately 75% of all bicyclists who are involved in bicycle accidents every year suffer head injuries. Not every bicycle accident will result in a fatal injury. However, most of these accidents will result in brain injuries, that range all the way from a mild concussion that may not be life threatening, to a skull fracture or a traumatic brain injury with long-term consequences. Needless to say, brain injury research is a topic that almost every California bicycle accident lawyer is interested in.

A new study that has recently been announced makes use of an unusual subject to understand the dynamics of an injury. The research has been kicked off by a scientist at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison. He and fellow researchers have focused their efforts on understanding brain injury in humans, by focusing on the fruit fly.

The brain of the fruit fly is contained in a hard cuticle, and the researchers found that the basic mechanisms and operations of the fly’s brain and its effect on the nervous system, are very much the same as in mammals and human beings.

During the research, they found several similarities between brain injuries in human beings and flies. Just as with humans, few flies die immediately after suffering a head injury. They also found that after a period of treatment, the flies that received treatment showed many of the same long-term physical consequences of head injury as humans do. For instance, these flies were temporarily incapacitated soon after the head injury, and also showed other symptoms, like loss of coordination and inactivation of the immune response. These flies also suffered neurodegeneration of the brain, and were also likely to die earlier from their injuries.

The researchers hope that these similarities between flies and mammals will help them understand why brain injuries result in the kind of long-term consequences that they do.



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