Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become a rising epidemic, affecting millions of people each year. Even though it is the most common type of brain injury, our understanding of the science underlying mild TBI is just in its infancy. There has been an explosion of basic science research interest in mild TBI, as emerging clinical evidence is suggestive that concussion and subconcussion may result in detrimental long-term neurological sequelae, particularly when occurring repetitively. Many animal models have been developed to study the different pathological mechanisms implicated in TBI, and more recently there has been a heightened focus on modeling mild TBI in the laboratory as well. The most widely used models of TBI have been adapted for experimental mild TBI research, although more work still remains. The ability to create improved diagnostic measures and treatment approaches for concussion depend on the development and characterization of clinically relevant models of mild TBI. This review aims to provide a broad general overview of the current efforts to model mild TBI in animals and the challenges and limitations that exist in translating this behavioral, physiological, and anatomic knowledge from the bench to the clinical arena.
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