top of page

Effects of β-Hydroxybutyrate on Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Drosophila

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is caused by mild collisions, jolts, or bumps to the head. These mild traumatic brain injuries can be experienced multiple times in an individual’s lifetime. Repeated concussive head trauma can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This is a neurodegenerative disease that causes behavioral changes like memory and thinking problems, aggression, and increased anxiety and depression. In a Drosophila model, we used a high-impact trauma device (Ketzenberger et al., 2013). Flies that have been subjected to 5 concussive strikes at varying degrees of severity (30° and 45°). Flies that experienced repetitive mTBI had somewhat decreased activeness. Their activeness was studied by performing a RING analysis (Gargano et. al., 2005) which uses the negative geotaxis nature of the Drosophila. Distance climbed by the flies were compared pre repetitive mTBI and post repetitive mTBI. Flies subjected to repetitive mTBI at 45° had significantly increase mortality when compared to the sham-mTBI flies. The flies subjected to repetitive mTBI at 30° did not have significantly increased mortality when compared to the sham-mTBI flies. The effects of a high fat ketogenic diet on mobility, behavioral abnormalities, degradation of brain anatomy will be explored. The ketogenic diet will be administered by supplementing a ketone body called β-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which inhibits oxidative stress, into their food. The administration of β-Hydroxybutyrate should provide some insight into the effect of a high fat diet on recovery after repetitive mTBI. This study will provide more insight on symptoms of repetitive mTBI and whether diet has an effect on symptoms.

Isabella Di Lorenzo '22
bottom of page