Brandon A. Miller, MD, PhD

2019 Innovator Award Recipient

TITLE: Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

GOAL: Improve brain function after a brain bleed

Project Summary:

This project will determine if antioxidant therapy can reduce brain injury after intraventricular hemorrhage and post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (IVH/PHH). IVH/PHH occurs in preterm infants, and leads to oxidative stress and brain injury. Although surgery can control PHH, there is no medical therapy to prevent PHH or reduce subsequent brain injury along the continuous pathological timeline of IVH and PHH. The developing brain is particularly susceptible to the oxidative stress due to the specific cell populations that comprise it. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) are plentiful in the developing brain, and are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress. Without successful OPC development, myelination cannot occur. Our preliminary data shows that the FDA-approved antioxidant drug phenelzine reduces oxidative stress in OPCs exposed to hemoglobin. This project will further develop phenelzine in an animal model of IVH/PHH to determine if it merits clinical trial development.