Pathogenesis and management of traumatic brain injury (TBI): role of neuroinflammation and anti-inflammatory drugs

Inflammopharmacology. 2022 Aug;30(4):1153-1166. doi: 10.1007/s10787-022-01017-8. Epub 2022 Jul 8.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important global health concern that represents a leading cause of death and disability. It occurs due to direct impact or hit on the head caused by factors such as motor vehicles, crushes, and assaults. During the past decade, an abundance of new evidence highlighted the importance of inflammation in the secondary damage response that contributes to neurodegenerative and neurological deficits after TBI. It results in disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and initiates the release of macrophages, neutrophils, and lymphocytes at the injury site. A growing number of researchers have discovered various signalling pathways associated with the initiation and progression of inflammation. Targeting different signalling pathways (NF-κB, JAK/STAT, MAPKs, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, GSK-3, Nrf2, RhoGTPase, TGF-β1, and NLRP3) helps in the development of novel anti-inflammatory drugs in the management of TBI. Several synthetic and herbal drugs with both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potential showed effective results. This review summarizes different signalling pathways, associated pathologies, inflammatory mediators, pharmacological potential, current status, and challenges with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory drugs; Clinical trial; Management; Neuroinflammation; Pathogenesis; Traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / drug therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3