The Relationship Between Neuron-specific Enolase (NSE) and Brain Injury

Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and brain trauma

Craniocerebral injury refers to the direct impact of various violent forces on the head, causing damage to the soft tissues, skull, and brain tissue. Violent trauma causes significant damage to brain nerve tissue in particular.

Based on a prospective study of more than 80 patients with craniocerebral injuries, the relationship between serum NSE concentration and their neurological function scores and prognosis evaluations was fully analyzed. The following conclusion was drawn: The cutoff value of serum NSE concentration is approximately 20.52 ng/mL, with a specificity of 82.1%, sensitivity of 87.0%, and AUC (area under the curve) of 0.931. The analysis of the research data shows that the change in serum concentration of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in patients after injury is inversely proportional to their neurological function scores.

Meanwhile, the existence of collateral damage to brain parenchyma caused by craniocerebral surgery, surgical impact, and patient stress reaction makes the increase in serum NSE concentration in patients more pronounced.

As craniocerebral injury gradually recovers, the serum NSE concentration level gradually decreases to that of a normal person. Thus, measuring the serum NSE concentration level of patients is beneficial for clinical doctors to make more accurate evaluations of patients' conditions.

The concentration level of NSE in serum may be a more sensitive detection indicator than imaging examinations such as CT in evaluating nerve system injuries. The concentration levels of NSE in serum and cerebrospinal fluid are closely related to the extent and prognosis of brain injuries.

Wolf's study suggests that using neuron-specific enolase NSE detection in combination with other examinations is beneficial in determining the patient's condition after brain injury. Checking the serum NSE concentration level in patients immediately after traumatic brain injury and monitoring its changes during treatment can reflect the severity of brain injury and treatment efficacy to a certain extent, while also providing a quick, objective evaluation of the patient's prognosis.

Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and epilepsy

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder caused by abnormal discharge of brain neurons, resulting in recurrent seizures. Its specific mechanism of onset is still unclear.

The study selected 35 patients with epilepsy (10 mild, 16 moderate, 9 severe, and all receiving routine treatment) and 35 healthy adults to measure their serum NSE concentration levels. The results showed that the serum NSE concentration levels in epilepsy patients were significantly higher than in healthy individuals, and the levels were higher in severe patients than in moderate and mild patients, with statistically significant differences.

Therefore, measuring changes in serum concentration levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in patients with epilepsy can not only determine the extent of brain damage, but it can also be an effective indicator for distinguishing between epilepsy and syncope, which is of great significance for clinical diagnosis, treatment, and differentiation of epilepsy.

However, studies have reached different conclusions. In a study of untreated children with epilepsy, the correlation between neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and disease severity was not significant, and there is a need to discover new biological markers for pediatric epilepsy.