Traumatic Brain Injuries: Pathophysiology and Potential Therapeutic Targets

Si Yun Ng, Alan Yiu Wah Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

    84 Citations (Scopus)


    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality amongst civilians and military personnel globally. Despite advances in our knowledge of the complex pathophysiology of TBI, the underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated. While initial brain insult involves acute and irreversible primary damage to the parenchyma, the ensuing secondary brain injuries often progress slowly over months to years, hence providing a window for therapeutic interventions. To date, hallmark events during delayed secondary CNS damage include Wallerian degeneration of axons, mitochondrial dysfunction, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death of neurons and glia. Extensive research has been directed to the identification of druggable targets associated with these processes. Furthermore, tremendous effort has been put forth to improve the bioavailability of therapeutics to CNS by devising strategies for efficient, specific and controlled delivery of bioactive agents to cellular targets. Here, we give an overview of the pathophysiology of TBI and the underlying molecular mechanisms, followed by an update on novel therapeutic targets and agents. Recent development of various approaches of drug delivery to the CNS is also discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number528
    Number of pages23
    JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2019


    • biopolymers
    • cell penetrating proteins
    • CNS trauma
    • controlled drug release
    • neuronal regeneration
    • secondary injuries

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