Brain injury or damage is the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. Brain injury can be caused by a variety of internal and external factors. A common category is traumatic brain injury that occurs after head damage from an outside source. Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in more extensive physical damage to the brain that can lead to long-term complications or death. Loss of brain function can also be caused by stroke, a temporary loss of blood supply to the brain, which deprives brain tissue of oxygen and food and causes consequent brain cell death.
Feinstein Institute researchers are studying different aspects of brain injury. They are developing “smart catheters,” the next generation of monitoring devices that will allow clinicians to continuously measure functional parameters in the injured brain during surgery. They are studying recovery from central nervous system injury, like spinal cord injury, and working on robotic devices to help retrain affected limbs in people who suffered stroke. They are also investigating the neurotoxic effect of inflammation and autoimmune diseases on the brain.