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Diabetes Drug May Alleviate Damage From Traumatic Brain Injuries – June 27, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury can have serious, life-long consequences.  Not only are mental abilities impaired, but it can have an impact on memory, behavior and personality changes.  Collaborative research between the United States and Researchers in Isreal have found evidence of a promising new treatment to alleviate these consequences – if treatment can be received shortly following the TBI accident.

A recent study has indicated that the FDA approved diabetes drug Exendin-4 may have the ability to significantly minimize the damage of traumatic brain injury when administered shortly after the initial traumatic incident.

The study was commissioned by the United States Air Force, Professor Chaim Pick of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Nigel Greig of the United States National Institute of Aging.  The diabetes drug was originally designed to control a patient’s sugar levels, but recently has been found effective in protecting neurons as well.  The initial study was conducted on mice who had suffered brain injury from explosions – such as would occur during a terrorist attack. A separate study tracked the effects of the drug on brain injuries from blunt trauma.

The hope is that this discovery can assist researchers in developing the best regimen of medications to prevent as much brain damage as possible following an injury. Dr. Pick explained that he believes that in treating such traumatic injuries, one drug will be insufficient, and is searching for the ideal combination of medications.

Let’s hope these promising studies soon may alleviate the extensive pain and suffering of people subjected to these tragic injuries.

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