Progesterone for TBI
A new medical study shows progesterone, a hormone associated with pregnancy and sex drive is an effective treatment for traumatic brain injuries.
The study, performed at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, was published earlier in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Doctors tested the treatment on 100 brain injury patients. Half of them received progesterone for a 3-day period and the others received a placebo. They found that patients who received the hormone retained more neural functioning and had higher survival rates from moderate brain injuries than those given the placebo.
This could be a landmark breakthrough for the 1.4 million Americans who suffer a traumatic brain injury each year. Of those, 50,000 die and many more are left with permanent damage including memory loss, concentration problems, and difficulty performing daily tasks.
Brain injuries are common but have limited treatment options adding to the importance to the discovery.
A New Hope
For years scientists speculated that progesterone may be a possible treatment option for brain injuries. In animal studies, the hormone was able to reduce swelling and diminish nerve cell loss.
The next phase of the study is a multiple center clinical trial on larger numbers of patients. Doctors are optimistic that those studies will prove the effectiveness of the treatment and that progesterone may be a viable option.