Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mark A. Prendergast


In the United States, 2.8 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually. Between 25%-50% of TBI injuries happen under alcohol intoxication. It is not understood how alcohol impacts patient outcomes via secondary injury pathways. Secondary injury pathways offer a window for therapeutic interventions, but there has been little success finding effective medications. Slice cultures offer a way to study secondary injury mechanisms in a controlled manner. The transection injury can model excitotoxicy seen following TBI. The current studies examined the effect of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal at the time of injury, and the effect of a calpain inhibitor (MDL-28170) on cell death following a transection injury. Intoxication had no effect on cell death compared to the TBI condition. In the ethanol withdrawal (EWD) study, EWD did not increase cell death following the TBI except at 72 hours. There was no effect of MDL on cell death. The severity of the model may have caused a ceiling effect. Additionally, imaging points may not have been sufficient for proper characterization. Future studies should use a different injury mechanism and other imaging times should be considered.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Psychology Commons