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Traumatic Brain Injury research at Penn Medicine explores the effects of brain injury and tests the effectiveness of various treatments to improve quality of life for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Below you can read about our current clinical trials and research studies being conducted for TBI patients. 


Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in TBI (TRACK-TBI)

TRACK-TBI is a multi-site study aimed at improving classification and stratification of TBI patients via collection of longitudinal imaging, proteomic, and genetic biomarkers. This study will help develop of a new taxonomy for TBI, which will eventually improve diagnosis and prognosis for TBI patients.

To learn more about TRACK-TBI visit:

Penn Acute Research Classification of TBI  (PARC-TBI)

This study involves collecting biochemical and clinical data from TBI patients to improve classification of TBI. Data from this study will help improve appropriate selection and stratification of patients for clinical trials, as well as contribute to the development of a new taxonomy of TBI.

Extracellular Vesicles in Ischemia and Coagulation after TBI (EVICT-TBI)

This pilot study aims to identify the temporal profile of neurotrauma biomarkers of inflammation and coagulation after TBI. EVICT will analyze inflammatory and coagulation markers in extracellular vesicles (EV) and correlate them with blood markers of coagulation and brain MR-imaging, specifically arterial spin labeling (ASL), and cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) measured by Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS).

Longitudinal Assessment of Traumatic Microvascular Injury (LATMI)

The LATMI study uses functional MRI scans to characterize the response of neural blood vessels to increased CO2 levels. TBI patients will undergo assessments and follow up to determine the healing capacity of cerebral vasculature after TBI. Additionally, the study aims to understand the role of endothelial progenitor cells in the brain after TBI via biospecimen analysis and comparisons to imaging biomarkers.

Epilepsy Bioinformatics Study for Antiepileptogenic Therapy (EpiBioS4Rx)

EpiBios4Rx is an international study which intends to identify prognostic biomarkers of post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). Epileptogenesis or post-traumatic seizures can be a serious consequence of TBI with lasting metabolic and cognitive repercussions. This study uses EEG and MR imaging paired with blood collection to determine whether specific structural or functional abnormalities portend the onset of PTE. 

To learn more about EpiBios4Rx visit:


Brain Oxygen Optimization in Severe TBI Phase-3 (BOOST-3)

BOOST3 is a research study to learn if either of two strategies for monitoring and treating patients with TBI in the intensive care unit (ICU) is more likely to help them get better. Both of these alternative strategies are used in standard care. It is unknown if one is more effective than the other. In one strategy doctors concentrate only on preventing high ICP (intracranial pressure) caused by a swollen brain. In the other strategy doctors try to prevent high ICP, and also try to prevent low PbtO2 (brain oxygen). It is unknown if measuring and treating low brain oxygen is more effective, less effective, or the same as monitoring and treating high brain pressure alone. The results of this study will help doctors discover if one of these methods is more safe and effective. To learn more about BOOST-3 visit:

To learn more about BOOST-3 visit:

Cerebral Vascular Reactivity in TBI (CVR-TBI)

Cerebral Vascular Reactivity (CVR) is a non-invasive technique used to study modulation of the cerebral vasculature. This study uses fNIRS with a hypercapnia challenge to non-invasively collect CVR data. We aim to measure CVR before and after a single dose administration of sildenafil citrate (a vasoregulator drug) in the acute, subacute and chronic phases after brain injury.

Cerebral Vascular Reactivity in Football (CVR-F)

CVR-F is a study intended to study chronic neurological changes after participation in football. The study uses fNIRS and MR imaging scans to understand the effect of sildenafil on cerebral vascular reactivity in patients experiencing chronic head injury symptoms.

Docosahexaenoic Acid in TBI (DHA-TBI)

The dietary supplement, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), has been hypothesized to improve outcome in several neuropathologies. We aim to obtain data on the relationships between blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and their bioactive molecular derivatives on clinical outcomes after TBI.

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