Traumatic brain injury (TBI) research to date has focused almost exclusively on the pathophysiology of injured neurons with very little attention paid to non-neuronal cells. However in the past decade, exciting discoveries have challenged this century-old view of passive glial cells and have led to a reinterpretation of the role of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) biology and pathology. In this chapter we review several lines of evidence, indicating that glial cells, particularly astrocytes, are active partners to neurons in the brain, and summarize recent findings that detail the significance of astrocyte pathology in traumatic brain injury.
- mechanical strain injury
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