Human hormone could become first treatment for brain injury

20 May, 2014
By: Donald W Fohrman
Human hormone could become first treatment for brain injury

Individuals in Chicago and all around the world face the effects of accidents every day. When the accidents are severe enough, traumatic brain injury can result. This devastating trauma occurs most often from injuries in which the head violently hits an object, or when a projectile or other object suddenly pierces the skull and causes damage to healthy brain tissue, both of which are commonly seen after a severe car accident.  Furthermore, the damaged brain tissue often swells, which can cause further harm to surrounding brain tissues.

Few options for treatment

Sadly, there is no cure for traumatic brain injury, and complete reversal of symptoms is incredibly rare. For most patients, the only treatment options available today involve methods doctors can use to keep brain function as high as possible immediately following an accident. This includes ensuring that the brain receives the proper amount of oxygen, keeping blood pressure in a safe range, and maintaining adequate blood flow to the brain and its damaged areas. Once the scope of the damage has been determined, patients can utilize physical therapy to relearn everyday tasks, such as walking and talking, depending on the severity of their injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 2.5 million people are treated for TBI each year in the U.S. Of those cases, 75 percent are due to concussions or other mild forms of TBI, while over 50,000 cases result in death. The CDC also reports that the leading cause of TBI-related death for individuals between 5 and 24 years old is motor vehicle crashes. Similarly, car crashes are also the leading cause of TBI hospitalization for individuals 15-44 years old. 

Progesterone Study

With current research, there may be some hope for future TBI patients.  Researchers are actively testing whether progesterone, a hormone that is naturally produced by the body and usually associated with pregnancy, can become the first successful treatment for TBI-damaged brain tissue.   The Study of the Neuroprotective Activity of Progesterone in Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries, abbreviated as SyNAPSe, shows that progesterone may significantly reduce inflammation in the brain when administered within the first 8 hours after a traumatic event takes place. Doctors infuse the hormone directly into the patient’s brain for five days in hopes that it will successfully reduce inflammation enough to halt cell death and help rebuild the blood-brain barrier.  The study seeks to enroll 1,100 patients with TBI from 150 locations across 21 countries.

SyNAPSe may have the ability to help reduce brain damage in accident victims, but the cost of treatment may still be greater than many families can handle on their own. Those who are dealing with the effects of a traumatic brain injury can contact a personal injury attorney for information on how to seek compensation for their damages and to discuss their matter in depth.

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!
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