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Description & Objectives S16


Women, Sex, and Hormones in Neurotrauma Research Cross-Cutting


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant alterations in neuroendocrine function, including alterations in sleep, stress and hormone responses.  Over the past decade, evidence has shown the prevalence of hormone dysfunction following TBI is more common than previously thought in both adults AND children. In adults, incidence is 23–69% of patients while pediatric incidence is 16-61% and can appear immediately following injury, or develop over time with most cases resolving within 1 year. The neuroendocrine system, including the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, are responsible for homeostasis and regulate physiological responses including metabolism, energy utilization, stress responses, and reproduction.  Research in the last few years has demonstrated that the neuroendocrine system is sensitive to injury, and represents an area of strong sexual dimorphism.  Further, considerable novel work has demonstrated an intersection between post-injury inflammation and the stress response.  This session will explore these avenues to detail the normal function of the neuroendrocrine system, the influence of brain injury on neuroendocrine function, the influence of the neuroendocrine system on neuropathology (i.e., sex influences on TBI outcome) and potential therapeutic avenues within this field.  Overall, this session will be highly relevant to this year’s NNS theme, “Bridging Gaps in Understanding the Neurobiology and Neurotechnology of Function after Neurotrauma”, by addressing neuroendocrine function from the view of both how the function of the neuroendocrine system is influenced by TBI and can, in turn, influence outcome.  The speakers in this session will focus on the molecular and cellular basis of this function through the systems wide influence.


At the conclusion of this session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Understand the normal physiology of the neuroendocrine system in relationship to brain injury.
  2. Describe the effect of brain injury on neuroendocrine function.
  3. Understand the sexual dimorphism within the neuroendocrine system and the impact of this difference on outcome after TBI.