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Rat study shows that concussions can lead to significant thickening of the skull

Posting time:2023-02-02 07:57:12

Rat study shows that concussions can lead to significant thickening of the skull

It's well known that repeated head banging increases the risk to our nervous system health, but a new study seeks to fill in important details about what they might mean for the skull. Experiments in rats have shown that regular head impacts lead to "robust" increases in skull thickness and volume, and scientists now hope to explore what this means for its ability to protect the brain from damage. The study, led by researchers at Monash University in Australia, had hypothesized that, in addition to affecting the brain, concussions would also cause changes to the skull. The premise of this view is that bone is a living tissue that can be shaped by mechanical forces, especially if they are applied repeatedly. To explore this idea, the team simulated mild brain trauma in rats by designing a heavy hammer device to strike in one, two or three groups at 24-hour intervals. Skulls were collected for analysis at two weeks and again after the final round of impacts at 10 weeks, and then imaged with a micro-CT scan. Rats' calvarial bone thickness increased slightly after two weeks of blows, but at 10 weeks, the group that received twice-daily blows showed "robust increases in volume and thickness" of the skull proximal to the injury site. This is combined with a reduction in the volume of the marrow cavity in an area of ​​the skull (called the diploë). Associate Professor Bridgette Semple, author of the study, said: "We have been ignoring the potential impact of the skull in how impact forces affect the brain. These new findings highlight that the skull may be a factor in the consequences of repeated concussions in individuals. Key factor". Scientists aren't sure if these effects are a good thing, but they note that, in theory at least, thicker skulls are stronger skulls, so it may be that the altered bones have a protective role in guarding the brain from further shocks. . To explore this idea, the team is planning further studies to investigate whether thickening the skull can alter the amount of force that hits brain tissue in this injury. "It's a bit of a tough question. As we know, repeated concussions can negatively impact brain structure and function. In any case, a concussion is never a good thing," said Sampel. The study was published in in the journal Scientific Reports.

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