Humans suffering from subdural haematomas often show long-term cognitive dysfunctions. For identifying putative, recovery-enhancing therapeutics, animal models need to be developed in which recovery of function can be measured. For investigating whether and which type of recovery, i.e. spontaneous or training-induced recovery, or continuous partial retardation, is present in the rat model for bilateral subdural haematomas, spatial navigation abilities were assessed in the Morris water escape task in independent groups of rats at 1, 2, 4, 8, or 18 weeks after surgery. Complete spontaneous recovery seemed to occur at 8 weeks after injury. However, at 18 weeks after injury, the subdural haematoma caused a renewed deterioration of water maze performance, which was of a lesser degree than the impairments observed immediately after injury. This second phase performance deterioration was accompanied by an increase in generalised astrocyte reactivity. The rat subdural haematoma model provides an interesting tool for investigating spontaneous recovery processes of spatial navigation (8 weeks after injury), but also for progressive brain dysfunctions, considering the second phase of behavioural impairments seen at 18 weeks after injury.
|Publication status||Published - 2004|