Neurobehavioral functional deficits following closed head injury in the neonatal pig

Stuart H Friess, Rebecca N Ichord, Kristin Owens, Jill Ralston, Rebecca Rizol, Karen L Overall, Colin Smith, Mark A Helfaer, Susan S Margulies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Neurobehavioral deficits in higher cortical systems have not been described previously in a large animal model of diffuse brain injury. Anesthetized 3-5 day old piglets were subjected to either mild (142 rad/s) or moderate (188 rad/s) rapid non-impact axial rotations of the head. Multiple domains of cortical function were evaluated 5 times during the 12 day post-injury period using tests of neurobehavioral function devised for piglets. There were no observed differences in neurobehavioral outcomes between mild injury pigs (N=8) and instrumented shams (N=4). Moderately injured piglets (N=7) had significantly lower interest in exploring their environment and had higher failure rates in visual-based problem solving compared to instrumented shams (N=5) on days 1 and 4 after injury. Neurobehavioral functional deficits correlated with neuropathologic damage in the neonatal pigs after inertial head injury. Injured axons detected by immunohistochemistry (beta-APP) were absent in mild injury and sham piglets, but were observed in moderately injured piglet brains. In summary, we have developed a quantitative battery of neurobehavioral functional assessments for large animals that correlate with neuropathologic axonal damage and may have wide applications in the fields of cardiac resuscitation, stroke, and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-43
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Head Injuries, Closed
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Nervous System
  • Reaction Time
  • Reward
  • Rotation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Swine


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