A blow to the head that causes a TBI can have lasting consequences. Patients who experience such injuries often suffer persistent problems such as attention deficit disorder or depression. But little is known about what triggers such symptoms for some patients and how they can be treated. Now, for the first time, scientists have created an animal model that reproduces these chronic psychiatric effects and find that one drug, amphetamine, may help reduce these symptoms in rats.
The team found that treating animals with a single dose of amphetamine approximately four weeks after injury produced different behavioral outcomes across the groups: Uninjured and resilient animals performed worse after the drug, but chronically impaired animals responded with increased accuracy and less impulsivity on the behavioral test.