Skador på hjärnan och psykiatriskt utfall som följd av långvarig svår kroppslig stressbelastning, en nationsomfattande studie av svåra brännskador

Tidsperiod: 2014-01-01 till 2017-12-31

Projektledare: Lisa Ekselius

Medarbetare: Bengt Gerdin, Folke Sjöberg, Mimmie Willebrand, Elna-Marie Larsson

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 2 800 000 SEK

An unanswered question is whether a severe and protracted life threatening somatic stress load exposes the brain to an organic impact with an increased vulnerability for psychiatric conditions. This is studied after severe burns which are life-threatening somatic stressors followed by a high risk for both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The hypothesis is that markers for cell damage appear in CSF in a dose related manner after severe somatic stress, and that these are related to impairment in memory and attention, to changes in brain connectivity, and to an increased psychiatric vulnerability. The project involves measurement of relevant mediators in the CSF, measurement of cognitive functioning utilizing the CANTAB instrument, and assessment of brain lesions and functioning using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/functional MRI (fMRI). These are studied as soon as possible after injury, after three months and after one year. This enables an analysis on the longitudinal path of possible organic brain lesions, and also to what extent CSF findings, cognitive function and brain alterations assessed by fMRI are related to one another. The project will give information on neurobiological stress responses and their relation to central nervous system damage and to psychiatric vulnerability after severe somatic stress. Next steps will be to further analyze mechanisms responsible and to learn how ensuing psychiatric conditions shall be prevented and treated.