Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Traumatic brain injury and gender: implications for rehabilitation

Free, Kristin (2015) Traumatic brain injury and gender: implications for rehabilitation. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (853kB)


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often thought to be a disease of young men. However, women comprise approximately 40% of the TBI population. In the era of personalized medicine, it is critical that we examine questions related to gender and outcomes after TBI, not only from the perspective of natural recovery, but also from the response to treatment. Many pharmacological agents are administered post-TBI, and given biological differences in males and females, the beneficial or deleterious effects of these pharmacological agents may or may not be equivalent between the sexes.
Haloperidol (HAL) is often prescribed in the clinic to manage TBI-induced agitation and aggression. HAL has consistently been shown to hinder functional recovery in male rats after experimental TBI, but whether these effects extend to females is not well established. Therefore, the objective of this study is to conduct an experiment examining differences between male and female rats in the response to HAL. To further understand this clinically relevant issue male and female rats received either a SHAM injury or a controlled cortical impact and were treated with either a vehicle solution (1mL/kg) or HAL (0.5mg/kg) starting 24 hours after injury and continuing once a day for 19 consecutive days. In regards to motor function TBI females performed better than TBI males. Furthermore, TBI females that received HAL performed better than TBI male that received HAL. With respect to cognitive function, which consisted of acquisition of spatial learning and memory retention, HAL was found to be deleterious to spatial learning acquisition in the male TBI group, but did not appear to affect retention, as measured in the probe trial. In conclusion, the results of my experiment demonstrate that chronic administration of the antipsychotic drug HAL produces differences in recovery between males and females, as illustrated through tests of motor and cognitive function. Specifically, males performed worse than females, which replicate previous work from our laboratory. This finding is clinically significant because it can allow medical professionals to individualize medicine and to determine the most efficient treatment plan.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Free, Kristinkef67@pitt.eduKEF67
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairKline, AnthonyKlineae@upmc.eduAEKLINE
Committee CoChairSkidmore, Elizabethskidmore@pitt.eduSKIDMORE
Committee MemberDixon,
Committee MemberDawson,
Date: 21 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 April 2015
Approval Date: 21 April 2015
Submission Date: 9 April 2015
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 51
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Traumatic Brain Injury Gender Haloperidol
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 14:16
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2017 05:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item