Lesson 5: What happens to neurons after TBI?
This lesson is part of the unit:
In this lesson students learn what happens at the neuronal level after a traumatic brain injury by looking at two modes of cell death: necrosis and apoptosis. Students begin by studying micrographs of individual neurons that are undergoing two different types of cell death. They are guided in making key observations that allow them to identify morphological characteristics of each pathway. Students then go on to analyze gel electrophoresis results from DNA samples taken from injured brain tissue. Through this activity, they learn about the “step ladder” pattern of apoptotic DNA that has been systematically cleaved and the “smear” pattern from necrotic cells in which the DNA degrades more randomly.