Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is currently one of the leading cause of death and disability in an economically active population, causing an enormous burden to the health system. In Germany, it is estimated that almost half million people experience any kind of TBI per year. TBI is also one of the most important risk factors for developing dementia and represents a major challenge due to the lack of medical treatments that prevent long-term neurocognitive decline and disability.
In this project, we evaluate in vivo activation and assembly of inflammasomes longitudinally and its relation to neuronal activity and cellular neuroinflammation after brain injury. To address these goals, we use different reporter mouse lines to follow up in time inflammasomes formation using advanced microscopic techniques. We address whether pharmacological modulation of NLRP3 could decrease neuroinflammation to improve neurocognitive outcome and study how inflammatory responses after TBI contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our translational research aims at developing therapeutically approaches to pave the way into clinical trials that impact the life of patients that suffered a traumatic brain injury.