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Departments / Neurosurgery / Research / Metabolic Recovery Lab

Metabolic Recovery Laboratory

The Metabolic Recovery Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery is the lab of Dr. Jennifer McGuire, Ph.D.. The brain is an energetically demanding organ requiring a disproportionate amount of energy relative to its size. Metabolic demands increase after injury as the brain attempts to contain and repair tissue damage. In many cases demand outpaces the supply resulting in global metabolic depression, interfering with neurotransmission and impairing cognitive function in the acute and subacute stages of injury. In more than 20% of traumatic brain injuries, even those with no findings in diagnostic imaging, cognitive symptoms become chronic, preventing a complete return to previous activities. Not coincidentally, chronic symptoms impact energy-expensive executive functions including concentration and attention, impulse control, decision making, and working memory. The Metabolic Recovery Laboratory applies molecular, histological, behavioral, and NMR-metabolomics approaches in animal models of both acute and chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) to identify how injury interferes with the exchange of neurotransmitters and metabolic substrates between neurons and glia that is required to support neurotransmission and cognitive function. Current research funded by NIH and the DoD examines the potential for supplemental energy substrates to preserve the brain energy supply in severe TBI, and improving cognitive function in chronic injury by increasing the brain’s metabolic capacity. The Metabolic Recovery laboratory is associated with the Collaborative for Research on Acute Neurological Injury (CRANI) and has active collaborations within the College of Medicine, the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

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231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670515
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0515

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University of Cincinnati 
College of Medicine
Department of Neurosurgery
PO Box 670515
Cincinnati Ohio 45267-0515