Research on TBI in Fruit Flies will Yield Data Applicable to Humans
University of Wisconsin geneticist Barry Ganetzky concluded that we know very little about how head trauma triggers neurodegeneration of the brain following TBI, and that’s because of legal and ethical restrictions on human experimentation. After looking around for a suitable non-human candidate for TBI research he hit on the fruit fly. The fruit fly’s brain is encased in a hard cuticle which mimics the human skull, and when trauma is applied to its cuticle the fruit fly not only suffers short term effects of concussion, but delayed onset of neurodegenerative changes to its brain just like some human victims of TBI.Ganetzky and his colleague David Wassarman, a UW professor of cell and regenerative biology, have received an NIH grant to pursue their research. Their first report came in the October 14, 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As they continue to report on their work I will relay it on this blog.