Inducing post-traumatic epilepsy in a mouse model of repetitive diffuse traumatic brain injury

Academic Article


  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of acquired epilepsy. TBI can result in a focal or diffuse brain injury. Focal injury is a result of direct mechanical forces, sometimes penetrating through the cranium, creating a direct lesion in the brain tissue. These are visible during brain imaging as areas with contusion, laceration, and hemorrhage. Focal lesions induce neuronal death and glial scar formation and are present in 20% −25% of all people who incur a TBI. However, in the majority of TBI cases, injury is caused by acceleration-deceleration forces and subsequent tissue shearing, resulting in nonfocal, diffuse damage. A subpopulation of TBI patients continues to develop post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) after a latency period of months or years. Currently, it is impossible to predict which patients will develop PTE, and seizures in PTE patients are challenging to control, necessitating further research. Until recently, the field was limited to only two animal/rodent models with validated spontaneous post-traumatic seizures, both presenting with large focal lesions with massive tissue loss in the cortex and sometimes subcortical structures. In contrast to these approaches, it was determined that diffuse TBI induced using a modified weight drop model is sufficient to initiate development of spontaneous convulsive and non-convulsive seizures, even in the absence of focal lesions or tissue loss. Similar to human patients with acquired post-traumatic epilepsy, this model presents with a latency period after injury before seizure onset. In this protocol, the community will be provided with a new model of post-traumatic epilepsy, detailing how to induce diffuse non-lesional TBI followed by continuous long-term video-electroencephalographic animal monitoring over the course of several months. This protocol will detail animal handling, the weight drop procedure, the electrode placement for two acquisition systems, and the frequent challenges encountered during each of the steps of surgery, postoperative monitoring, and data acquisition.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shandra O; Robel S
  • Volume

  • 2020
  • Issue

  • 156