Ron B. Moyron


Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are significant health concerns and affect a wide cross section of society. Current diagnostic criteria and modalities, such as brain imaging and subjective measures of consciousness such as the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, are insufficient to properly diagnose the full spectrum of head injuries. Assessment of injury severity and outcome are further complicated by the vast array of symptoms, many of which mimic those displayed by other disorders. It is important to possess a better diagnostic tool for head injury triage and outcome prediction. One current line of inquiry seeks to discover a “traumatic brain injury biomarker”, or a number of them, in order to differentiate the healthy patient from the concussed individual. However, there are challenges in proteomic analysis of neuronal proteins. Current methods, such as sampling cerebral spinal fluid via lumbar puncture, are both invasive and carry risk of injury. Discovery of trauma-specific biomarkers present in peripheral blood may present a viable alternative. However, the likely degradation of neuronal proteins in the peripheral circulation is an obstacle. Exosomes, small membrane vesicles known to carry proteins and injury-specific biomarkers, may help provide an ideal modality for the study of the TBI. The current work sought to assess the utility of an exo-proteomic approach for the study of traumatic brain injury. Blood samples taken from trauma patients admitted to a Level 1 Trauma Center were stratified according to GCS score and their exo-proteomic content was analyzed via mass spectrometry. Results indicated differential exosomal protein expression in patients corresponding to injury severity, as categorized by GCS score. Based on these findings, we believe that exo-proteomic analysis of patients with differing level of injury severity lends itself well to the discovery of potential trauma-specific biomarkers that can aid in the establishment of a true differential diagnostic for the full spectrum of concussion and traumatic brain injuries.

LLU Discipline



Basic Sciences


School of Medicine

First Advisor

Wall, Nathan R.

Second Advisor

Langridge, William

Third Advisor

Senthil, Maheswari

Fourth Advisor

Zhang, Lubo

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Brain Injuries; Proteomics; Brain damage -- Treatment; Brain -- Wounds and injuries

Subject - Local

Traumatic Brain Injury; Concussions



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives