Recent research has revealed that repeated head trauma can elevate the risk of developing brain cancer. The study found that repeated hits to the head can increase risk of a rare and aggressive brain tumor called glioma by more than four times.
Brain injuries are the leading cause of disability and death worldwide, and traumatic brain injuries are the number one cause of seizure disorders. University College London Cancer Institute researchers have now determined that head injuries could also increase your risk of brain cancer. The UCL study adds to a growing body of research that has indicated a possible connection between brain injuries and increased brain cancer risk.
Johns Hopkins estimates that gliomas account for around 33% of all brain tumors. Although they can affect people of all ages, they are primarily seen in adults. Lead researcher Professor Simona Parrinello said that the research team’s findings suggested that brain trauma may be associated with an elevated risk of glioma later in life.
But, while previous research did not provide conclusive evidence of this relationship, the recent UCL research determined a possible mechanism that explains the relationship between head injuries and brain tumors. Gliomas usually originate from neural stem cells but are less likely to arise in mature brain cells such as astrocytes. Given that previous research had found that astrocytes could exhibit stem cell-like behavior after injury, the UCL research team wanted to determine if this feature could allow astrocytes to mutate into cancer cells after repeated head trauma.
Using a preclinical mouse model, the research team found brain inflammation after head trauma could potentially induce mutations that led to the development of gliomas in the brain. The team then analyzed medical records from more than 20,000 people who had suffered head injuries and compared brain cancer rates to a control group.
After accounting for sex, age and socioeconomic status, the researchers discovered that patients who had a head injury were four times more likely to develop brain cancer than those who hadn’t suffered a head injury.
According to Parrinello, mutations in normal issues could create a synergistic effect in young brains after they sustain trauma. Inflammation increases at the site of the former injury as individuals age and cause the mutations to manifest at a certain threshold of inflammation, Parrinello said.
The study highlights the importance of protecting yourself against head injuries. Study results were published in the “Current Biology” journal.
The increasing caseload of various brain cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme has prompted several entities such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) to focus on developing new treatments so that patients can have better clinical outcomes.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP
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