A new study in The American Journal of Pathology found that a brain lipid molecule, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), was significantly increased after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a preclinical animal model. They also found that it was elevated in areas associated with cell death and axonal injury, both major hallmarks of moderate and severe TBI. This strengthens the evidence that LPA could be used as a biomarker of TBI through blood testing, potentially providing a prognostic indicator of injury and outcome.
TBI is characterized by impairments in cognition, emotion, or physical function caused by a violent blow to the head or direct brain penetration by an object. Upon injury, it is often difficult to evaluate the extent of damage or predict how long the impairment will last or whether it will worsen.