Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Ball, Sherry

Subject Headings

Brain -- Wounds and injuries -- Animal models, Impact -- Physiological effect, Brain -- Magnetic resonance imaging, Pharmacology, Brain injury, Rats, Fluoxetine, Lovastatin, Behavioral


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common among military personnel, resulting from bomb blasts and explosions. The secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines following TBI has been linked to cerebral edema and neuronal loss. The use of lovastatin for TBI has been suggested to be neuroprotective by combating cytokines and inflammation. Fluoxetine has been suggested to aid in the prevention of edema during secondary injury processes, as well as having a relationship to neural plasticity. Seventy-six Long-Evans rats were randomly assigned to CCI (controlled cortical impact) or sham-operated as well as one of the following drug conditions: no treatment, vehicle, Fluoxetine only, Lovastatin only, and combined Fluoxetine-Lovastatin. Two behavioral tasks testing motor control and somatosensory input were used to investigate recovery of function. Brain tissue was analyzed using cresyl violet stain and GFAP label. Behavioral and cell count data did not reveal significant improvements between combined Fluoxetine-Lovastatin pharmacotherapy groups and all other groups. Several methodological limitations that may account for these negative findings are discussed. Although the combination of Lovastatin and Fluoxetine did not significantly improve behavioral scores or cell counts in the patterns expected, the possibility of utilizing a combined pharmacotherapy to treat TBI or TBI comorbid with other conditions should be investigated further

Included in

Psychology Commons