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Brain injuries: doctors seek more options for responding to TBI

Like it or not, as a society the U.S. is becoming more familiar with the causes and effects of brain injuries.

There are several reasons for this. For starters, thousands of military service veterans have come home from Iraq, Afghanistan or other deployments with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). And awareness is growing of the effect of head trauma suffered playing sports, particularly football.

There is also the fact that motor vehicle accidents continue to inflict many serious head injuries every year. In the San Antonio area and across the nation, truck accidents, car accidents and motorcycle accidents all take their toll and can cause catastrophic injuries.

Nationally, nearly two million people a year are faced with brain injuries. And such injuries can also greatly affect families, especially if the brain injury results in personality changes.

Doctors often lack good options for responding to such injuries. After all, there is no magic bullet therapy to treat acute brain injury. Doctors must normally focus on rehabilitation, not on reversing the damage. 

Researchers are hard at work, however, trying to find ways to treat brain injuries more effectively.

One of the initiatives underway right now is a study on whether the hormone progesterone can help as a treatment for people with TBI. Progesterone is best known for its involvement with pregnancy. But it may have other uses; if it applied to an injured area soon enough, the evidence suggests that it can diminish cut down on brain swelling and preventing bleeding into the brain in the aftermath of an injury.

 

Source: KSAT, "Pregnancy hormone for traumatic brain injury," July 22, 2013

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