Possible New Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries

“There are currently no primary treatments for TBI, so this research provides hope that effective treatments can be developed”, said study author Michael Kaufman, a second year medical student at Wayne State University of Medicine in Detroit.  Michael Kaufman was recently quoted in a ScienceDaily article about a promising new drug capable of shielding against the effects of traumatic brain injury in rats. 

Traumatic brain injury causes decreased blood flow in the cerebrum of the brain.  If there is a prolonged decrease in blood flow, it can cause permanent cell dysfunction and death.  According to the article, Endothelin receptor (ETrA) is a receptor in the brain that contributes to the restriction of blood flow as early as four hours after a brain injury.  Clazosentan is the new drug that may be able to specifically block these receptors.

In the study, brain-injured rats received the drug Clazosentan through an intravenous line at several different points in time after the injury.  Researchers then measured the rat’s blood flow in the hippocampus and sensory motor cortex with an MRI brain scan and tested their behavior in learning a maze.

Results showed that Clazosentan decreased the effects of the brain injury by decreasing blood flow to the hippocampus by 25% at four hours and 23% at 48 hours after TBI.   But when the drug was given at 12 hours post-injury it caused some to improve, and others to worsen or remain the same.   The drug seemed to be most effective when given at 2 hours post-injury and again at 24 hours after the trauma.  Rats given the drug at 2 and 24 hours post-injury also performed better on the maze test.

It appears that several more studies will be needed before this treatment may be used on humans in a clinical application.  Until then we are encouraged by the direction of the study and its exploring the effects of Clazosntan to lessen the impact of traumatic brain injuries on the lives of survivors. 

The attorneys at Fisher Stark represent numerous families suffering from the effects and aftermath of a brain injured loved one.  A jury’s verdict, no matter how large, always feels too small for the family.  We welcome any treatment that lessens the impact of a traumatic brain injury.  If you have legal questions about a brain injury call attorneys that understand the injury.  Call the attorneys at Fisher Stark, 828.505.4300.

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