According to an article in The Arizona Republic, 17 medical institutions in 15 states are about to begin testing the hormone progesterone in the treatment of blunt head and brain trauma, the types of injuries caused by car accidents, sports injuries, falls, and assaults. (Penetrating injuries, such as from a bullet, cannot be treated with progesterone.)
“This is the most promising drug we’ve seen, and there’s no evidence of side effects,” said Dr. Joseph Zabramski, a neurosurgeon and the study’s principal investigator at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.
As a treatment, the hormone progesterone must be given to the patient intravenously within four hours of the injury, and administered over four days. Progesterone is thought to prevent cell death (including brain cells), as well as tissue swelling and inflammation.
According to ScienceDaily:
Progesterone is naturally present in small but measurable amounts in the brains of males and females. Human brain tissue is loaded with progesterone receptors. Laboratory studies suggest that progesterone is critical for the normal development of neurons in the brain and exerts protective effects on damaged brain tissue.
Researchers have found that giving progesterone to trauma victims shortly following brain injury appears to be safe and may reduce the risk of death and long-term disability. That’s great news for the approximately 2 million in the United States who suffer from a TBI every year.
At HensonFuerst, we know how much of a difference even small improvements can make for people with brain injury. We look forward to hearing the results of this trial, and you know we’ll share them with you as soon as they’re in. It may be more than three years from now, but we’ll be on it.
To read the press release from the lead center at Emory University, click here: http://www.em.emory.edu/current_safetynet_03.html
To read the full ScienceDaily article, click here: Progesterone for TBI tested
To read the full article in The Arizona Republic, click here: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2011/01/25/20110125arizona-test-centers-brain-injury-drug.html#ixzz1C52heyER