Brain injury study looks at human hormone

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Chicago residents who are living with the damaging effects of a traumatic brain injury understand that it has the potential to be among the most devastating injuries a person can endure.  TBIs have deep, variable and far-reaching consequences that doctors are usually unable to directly treat, leaving patients with a lifetime of medical problems. According to a new study, hope for these individuals may be found in a simple human hormone that is usually associated with pregnancy, and is commonly found in both women and men.

About the study

A global collaboration, the Study of the Neuroprotective Activity of Progesterone in Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries, or SyNAPSe, hopes to evaluate the effectiveness of a type of progesterone on treating patients who are suffering from severe traumatic brain injuries. Researchers at 150 sites in 21 countries on four continents are participating in the phase 3 study and they hope to eventually enroll 1,200 patients with severe, closed-head TBIs within the study.

Those who enroll in the program will either receive BH-100 progesterone or a placebo, which contains no medicine at all. All patients receive an infusion of the drug or placebo directly into their brains beginning no later than 8 hours after their brain injury occurred and treatment continues for five continuous days. A review of the first 200 participants indicated that there were no known risks associated with the treatment.

New hope for patients

Doctors believe that there is significant evidence that shows that progesterone has the ability to reduce inflammation following serious injury, and many are hopeful that it will work the same way when applied to the brain in this manner. Current research on the subject shows that the drug can repair the blood-brain barrier, which keeps infection and foreign material out of the brain and is often damaged in a TBI. Research also shows that it can reduce swelling in the brain and decrease cell death, all of which would lead to greater survival and healing rates among those with TBI.

TBIs happen daily

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that TBIs occur in 2.5 million people a year, and were a contributing factor in the deaths of over 50,000 people in 2010. These injuries occur most often in those who have been in a car accident. The CDC states that these accidents are the third leading cause of TBI for all patients, old and young. Upon examining only individuals who died as a result of a brain injury, the second most common cause of death was TBI resulting from a motor vehicle crash.  Those who are living with the effects of this often overwhelming and costly condition can seek compensation for their injuries with the help of a Chicago personal injury attorney.

 

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