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Hormone tested for use in healing traumatic brain injuries

Researchers are currently studying whether progesterone, a natural hormone, may be used to help heal traumatic brain injuries. Progesterone, which is found in both men and women, is most commonly associated with pregnancy. Researchers in the Study of the Neuroprotective Activity of Progesterone in Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries, or SyNAPSe, hope that the hormone may be used for a traumatic brain injury treatment, reducing mortality and improving short and long-term disability from such injuries. Progesterone must be administered within eight hours of the accident, and it must be given for five or six days straight. Researchers have seen evidence that it reduces inflammation, and rebuilds the blood-brain barrier, crucial to stopping cell death in the brain. More than 150 sites in 21 countries are taking part in the study, with a goal of 1100 enrolled patients.

Traumatic brain injuries, such as those incurred in sports or from car or workplace accidents, have severe negative health consequences. One of these is the development of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a disease that is the result of multiple brain injuries. Symptoms include memory loss, disorientation, and mood swings. If left untreated, it can lead to dementia and depression.

The research involving progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone, is raising hope that a treatment for traumatic brain injuries may be forthcoming. If so, it would be a great help to all those affected, and help them avoid the symptoms of CTE and the end results. Presently, there is no long term cure for CTE or for traumatic brain damage, but physical and psychiatric therapy may be able to alleviate some of the health consequences.

Anybody impacted by a traumatic brain injury has the legal right to seek an effective remedy. He or she may file for worker's compensation benefits from his or her employer if the injury is work-related, or may file a personal injury lawsuit if the negligence of another is involved. In any event, there is legal help available for all suffering from a traumatic brain injury, and the financial compensation may help the injured support themselves if they cannot work.

Source: KABC 7, "Hormone could help heal traumatic brain injuries," Denise Dador, July 23, 2013.

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