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Brain Injury Patients Testing New Treatments


A new approach to treating brain injury patients is being tested by local military doctors.

A nationwide study is underway to see if the drug progesterone can help save lives and reduce disability in sufferers of head trauma.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are the signature wounds of modern wars. But damage to the brain caused by an outside blow to the head also affects thousands of civilians each year, too, primarily in falls and car accidents.

Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) is joining 17 other hospitals nationwide in studying the protective effects of progesterone. The question is whether the hormone progesterone when given by IV within four hours of injury can reduce swelling and damage to the brain.

If this treatment works, it will be a huge stepping stone to eradicating the potentially life threatening on-going annoyance of a head traumas.

A doctor reports that the drug is already an FDA approved drug that is used successfully in hormone replacement and other medicines. Using the drug in this study is projecting a completely new and untried use.

Each year, BAMC’s emergency room in Nassau and Suffolk admits about 700 brain injury patients. The parameters of the study are being closely monitored. Those admitted to the study group will be 18-years-old and older with closed head injuries that are causing moderate to severe damage. They also have to be administered the medication within four hours of the initial trauma.

Because many brain injury patients are not alert to give their consent to be in the study, hospital staff will attempt to find a relative to agree. If kin is not available, patients will be enrolled in the study under a special rule called “exception to informed consent.”

Anyone can opt out in advance online.

To avoid controversy and community outrage based on lack of knowledge, the BAMC will hold a series of community meetings in order to get public feedback on the brain injury study. If there’s enough support, they’ll start enrolling patients who come through the ER as soon as possible.

The results of this study could have far reaching impact – whether positive or negative is unknown at this time. As New York Brain Injury Attorneys monitor the progress of this study, they are available to answer any of your brain injury questions, any time.

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