The purpose of this research study is to measure and examine the chemicals released in the brain and blood after a head injury. Specifically, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, the fluids that surround the brain) will be examined to see how biomarkers (the chemicals contained in the fluids) relate to how severe the injury is and recovery after the injury (neurological outcome).

There is some evidence that a form of a gene called Apo-E may be associated with recovery after traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is likely that other genes may also influence the amount of recovery and healing after TBI. One part of this study is to determine the relationship between the Apo-E gene and biomarkers and recovery after injury. Another part is to store frozen samples of DNA for later testing as new information becomes available.

The long term goal of this study is to provide physicians with the tools they need to diagnose brain injuries. This information may help doctors judge how severe a head injury is, if treatment needs to be adjusted, and it may help predict how well a patient recovers from the injury.

People invited to participate in this study must be 16-80 years of age. The goal is to enroll 750 participants in the next five years.

This study would occur during the acute phase of a TBI (traumatic brain injury) most commonly while a participant is hospitalized.

For more information about this study please call Clinical Trials Information at 412-647-3685.