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Possible new treatment for traumatic brain injury


Head injuries are extremely common and life threatening. More than 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injury (TBO) each year. The need to find treatments to limit inflammation and subsequent damage is critical. About 275,000 people are hospitalized each year with TBI. Of those 85,000 are left with long term disabilities and more 50,000 will die. Today more than 5 million people are living with disabilities caused by TBI most commonly caused by car accidents and falls. The total cost of treatment and care is over $75 billion.

Dr. Joshua Gatson, Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is on the frontlines studying treatment for TBI. He investigates biomarkers and novel therapies for brain injuries. Previously he has shown that estrone, one of three naturally occurring estrogen hormones, has shown promise in reducing inflammation and cell death in the brain. In his newest study, Gatson demonstrates that estrone provides those anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities after TBI.
The study compared 0.5 mg of estrone to a placebo on rats with brain injury. The study showed that estrone is involved in promoting brain-derived neurotrophic factor which promotes cell survival. This is one of the main growth factors that regulates repair after injury. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor was administered quickly, only 30 minutes after injury. “So if you administer this drug shortly after injury, it is thought to increase repair mechanisms,” explained Gatson

This is new information for treatment of BMI. In the past, research has centered around the effectiveness of estradiol.

Source: ScienceDaily, Experimental Biology

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