Target brain disease(s): Pararoxysmal sympoathetic hyperactivity (brain and spine trauma)
Project goal: Develop a scale to describe or quantify the severity of a syndrome some patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) develop called “Paroxysmal Sympathetic Hyperactivity” (PSH).
Project description: Little is known about the long term outcomes of patients with PSH in TBI, although it is usually associated with poor outcome, including possibly increasing the degree of brain injury and weight loss. Dr. Hinson and colleagues are developing a scale to describe or quantify the severity of the PSH syndrome in patients with TBI, also known as “sympathetic storms.” Her research shows that despite doing poorly in the short term (longer hospital stays), these patients appear to do well long term based on the preliminary data. Dr. Hinson hopes the scale can be used in research to measure how well treatments for PSH work. She is continuing her work in TBI, investigating the links between early fever and inflammation in severe TBI.
Funding: Received $130,000 in research funds.