The commonest causes of brain damage in adults are stroke and traumatic brain injury. Stroke is most commonly caused by the occlusion of a cerebral blood vessel, but can also be due to a haemorrhage. Traumatic brain injury has many causes including traffic accidents.
Brain damage can also occur at or before birth due to a lack of oxygen. Even in technologically advanced societies, this happens in about 0.3% of births, which can lead to a life-long handicap.
DNF researchers are working towards improved therapy for brain-damaged patients and are involved in a Lausanne-wide collaboration on this subject, the Lausanne Stroke Collaboration, as well as a trans-European collaboration (STRESSPROTECT).
The research on brain damage within the DNF is focused mainly on two areas:
Recovery from brain damage
Imaging astrocytes in a cell culture model of brain ischemia (the astrocytes contain a fluorescent protein, GFAP-EGFP).