Patients who arrive at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center with traumatic brain injuries may end up as a part of a widespread study to determine whether or not progesterone injections help to mitigate some of the effects of the injury. Progesterone has been found to correlate with less-severe long-term damage after a brain injury, and this study aims to gather conclusive evidence to that effect.
After a brain injury, doctors are faced with very few treatment options to stop the brain from swelling and leading to more damage. The military has taken notice and pledged millions of dollars of funding toward brain injury research since so many troops have returned home with brain injuries. The increase in money and attention has allowed the study of progesterone, among others, to be conducted on a massive scale.
Dr. Roland Torres at Santa Clara Valley Medical told the Taiwan News that the Iraq war is indirectly responsible for the increase in awareness given to traumatic brain injury in the media and public eye. ‘All of a sudden, there was an incredible amount of money to do studies on brain injury,’ the article reported. The Department of Defense has put forth hundreds of millions of dollars to study and prevent brain injuries over the past few years.
Progesterone has been shown in animal trials to stop the swelling of the brain after an injury. It also protects brain cells at the injury site form incurring any further damage. Early trials of progesterone demonstrated powerful results. ‘in a 100-person trial at an Atlanta hospital between 2001 and 2005, TBI patients given progesterone were more than twice as likely to survive than those given a placebo. Patients with a moderate brain injury were more likely to recover if given progesterone,’ a Taiwan News article reported. They added that Progesterone has limited, well-understood side effects, making it even more attractive as a possible treatment.
If the new progesterone trials prove successful, the hormone will be added to medic kits on the battlefield, and EMTs and paramedics will be able to administer the drug to patients immediately upon arrival at the scene of the injury. With any luck, progesterone will radically shift and improve treatment protocols for brain injuries.
Cevallos, Marissa. (March 22, 2010) ‘Santa Clara Valley Medical begins study on traumatic brain injuries.’ Retrieved on March 23, 2010 from the Taiwan News Web site:http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1208596&lang=eng_news…