The nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has acute and chronic outcomes for those who survive. Over time, the chronic process of injury impacts multiple organ systems that may lead to disease. We discuss possible mechanisms and methodological issues in the context of candidate gene association studies using TBI patient populations. Because study population sizes have been generally limited, we discussed results on genes that have been the focus of independent studies. We also present a justification for testing more speculative candidate genes in recovery from TBI, such as those involved in circadian rhythm, to outline the importance of prioritizing functional variants in genes that may modulate recovery or provide neuroprotection from TBI. Finally, we provide a perspective on how future research will integrate population level genetic findings with the biological basis of disease in order to create a resource of predictive outcome measures for individual patients.
Keywords: Traumatic brain injury; epidemiology; epigenetics; genetics; genome wide association; outcome.
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