The effect of age on outcome following traumatic brain injury in rats

R. J. Hamm, L. W. Jenkins, Bruce G Lyeth, D. M. White-Gbadebo, R. L. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Age of the patient is one of the most important predictors of outcome following human traumatic brain injury. This study employs the fluid- percussion model to investigate the effects of aging on outcome following traumatic brain injury in rats. The results revealed that there was an age- associated increase in mortality rate following both low (1.7 to 1.8 atm) and moderate (2.00 to 2.25 atm) levels of traumatic brain injury. Age-related changes in systemic physiological, neurological, and histopathological indexes of brain injury were also examined following a low level of traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury produced equivalent acute hypertension and increased plasma glucose levels in both young adult and aging rats. Injury produced an acute increase in heart rate in the young adult rat group, while the heart rate decreased in the aged rats. At low levels of brain injury, no significant gross histopathological alterations were produced in either age group. Neurological outcome was assessed by measuring the duration of suppression of a number of nonpostural and postural reflexes and more complex somatomotor functions (righting, escape, head support). Except for head support, there was a significant age-related increase in the duration of the suppression of these reflexes following brain injury. These data demonstrate that aging is associated with an increased mortality rate and greater acute neurological deficits following traumatic brain injury. These data also demonstrate the usefulness of the fluid-percussion model for studying the mechanisms responsible for the age-related increase in vulnerability to brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-921
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • age
  • brain injury
  • fluid-percussion injury
  • head injury
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of age on outcome following traumatic brain injury in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this