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Ralph G. DePalma Memorial TBI Clinical Strategies

Acute and Chronic Molecular Signatures and Associated Symptoms of Blast Exposure in Military Breachers

by Fatemeh Haghighi, PhD
Seminar date: 5/13/2020

Description: Injuries from exposure to explosive blasts rose dramatically during recent conflicts due to the increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in military settings, and have also increased in civilian populations through acts of terrorism, which has motivated research in my laboratory to investigate the effects of blast and the mechanisms behind blast-related injuries. In collaboration with DOD scientists, my laboratory has been conducting studies on the bio-effects from repeated exposure to low-level blast, and findings that I will present in this Webinar show that blast exposure is capable of inducing acute and chronic changes in DNA methylation and gene expression profiles in military breachers that track with the symptoms of sleep disturbance and tinnitus. I will present data that show how DNA methylation can encapsulate chronic cumulative exposures to blast and these related symptoms long-term, informing future development of targeted treatment interventions. I will also present longitudinal data pre vs. post exposure to blast showing how prior lifetime history of environmental insults such as prior mild TBI can influence acute responsivity to blast, an important consideration for biomarker research and discovery. Webinar will be of interest to both clinical and basic research scientists, providing a translational perspective of the effect of blast exposure in inducing gene regulatory changes that contribute chronically to emergence of lifelong symptoms in our service members and veterans.

DOWNLOAD: PDF handout | Audio only (mp3) | transcript

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