Today is Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2020

Department of


Dr. Laura Nqweny sitting at a computer and smiling

Neurotrauma Lab

The Department of Neurosurgery Neurotrauma Laboratory is the laboratory of Dr. Laura Ngwenya, MD, PhD. The Neurotrauma Laboratory is affiliated with the UCGNI Neurotrauma Center, as well as the Collaborative for Research on Acute Neurological Injuries (CRANI). Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects over 2.8 million people in the US annually. However, despite the widespread societal and economic impact, there are no effective treatments for traumatic brain injury. Especially devastating are the cognitive deficits that occur after TBI. The Neurotrauma Laboratory is a basic and translational laboratory that focuses on the mechanisms that underlie poor recovery after TBI. Using an experimental model of TBI, we examine acute and subacute cognitive deficits, and explore underlying mechanisms for potential treatments. We employ cognitive / behavioral testing, histology and immunohistochemistry, stereological quantification, electrophysiology, and molecular techniques.  The current direction of our NIH funded laboratory is exploring the interplay between spreading depolarizations, adult neurogenesis, and TBI. We have many collaborators throughout UC and CCHMC, including Dr. Jennifer McGuire (Instructor, Dept. of Neurosurgery), Dr. Jed Hartings (Professor, Dept. of Neurosurgery), and Dr. Steve Danzer (Professor, Dept. of Anesthesia, CCHMC). Our lab’s ultimate goal is to discover the mechanisms that underlie poor recovery after TBI, such that we can design targeted therapies to improve patient outcomes.

Selected Recent Publications:

Hartings JA, Andaluz N, Bullock RM, Hinzman JM, Mathern B, Pahl C, Puccio A, Shutter LA, Strong AJ, Vagal A, Wilson JA, Dreier JP, Ngwenya LB, Foreman B, Pahren L, Lingsma H, Okonkwo DO. 2020. Prognostic value of spreading depolarizations in patients with severe traumatic brain injury. JAMA Neurology. Dec 30 2019 [Epub ahead of print] PMID:31886870

Helbok R, Schiefecker A, Balanca B, Jewel S, Foreman B, Ercole A, Balu R, Ayata C, Ngwenya L, Rosenthal E, Boutelle M, Farkas E, Dreier JP, Fabricius M, Shuttleworth B, Hartings JA, Carlson A. 2019. What should a clinician do when spreading depolarizations are observed in a patient? Neurocritical Care. Jul 23 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:31338747

Foreman B and Ngwenya LB. 2019. The sustainability of applied intracranial multimodality neuromonitoring after severe brain injury. World Neurosurgery. Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30711656

McGuire J, Correll EA, Lowery AC, Rhame K, Anwar FN, McCullumsmith RE, Ngwenya LB. 2019. Pioglitazone improves working memory performance when administered in chronic TBI. Neurobiology of Disease. 132, 104611. Doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2019.104611. PMID: 31513844

Khalid F, Yang GL, McGuire JL, Robson MJ, Foreman B, Ngwenya LB, Lorenz JN. 2019. Autonomic dysfunction following traumatic brain injury: Translational Insights. Neurosurgical Focus. Neurosurgery Focus. Nov 1;47(5):E8. PMID:31675718

Ngwenya LB, Danzer SC. 2019. Impact of traumatic brain injury on neurogenesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Jan 9; 12:1014. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.01014. PMID: 30686980

McGuire JL, Ngwenya LB, McCullumsmith RE. 2019. Neurotransmitter changes after traumatic brain injury: an update for new treatment strategies. Invited Expert Review. Molecular Psychiatry. Jul;24(7):995-1012 PMID:30214042

Ngwenya LB, Mazumder S, Porter ZR, Minnema A, Oswald DJ, Farhadi HF.2018. Implantation of neuronal stem cells enhances object recognition without increasing neurogenesis after lateral fluid percussion injury in mice. Stem Cells International. 2018 (Feb 6): 4209821. PMID: 29531536