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The Potential Impact of Current Brain Injury Research

The Potential Impact of Current Brain Injury Research

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Research that is going on now, that has the potential in the near term to help patients with traumatic brain injury, --I think it runs the gamut from the clinical trials that we have running right now with-- there's 2 phase 3 clinical trials that are going on with progesterone, which has shown tremendous efficacy across different models of traumatic brain injury. And I think the whole community is very very hopeful that we'll see some success--some level of success with these trials because--well it's just very much needed. And then there are some other clinical trials that have gone on, using different drugs --you know, that can ameliorate the symptoms of severe TBI. On the other side, looking at diagnostic tools for traumatic brain injury, and providing objective measures such as what Dr Tortella was talking about-- what he and Ron Hayes and Kevin Wang have developed in terms of the bio marker assays. And the potential of that to help identify when somebody has suffered concussive damage --you know---with concussion. Concussive impact-induced mild traumatic brain injury-- you can't see in an imaging facility and you can't --there's no structural pathology to it. And so, it is very very difficult to diagnose, and it's very difficult to make "return to play" decisions and--or "return to duty" decisions for soldiers. And--so--having a tool that would allow us to objectively measure whether or not somebody's brain function has returned to normal and they're safe to go back into a football game or they're safe to go back into combat-- that would--that would be-- that is something that is very very-- I think, very close to becoming a reality.

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Brain Injury researchers are making steady steps — from studying the use of progesterone for treatment to biomarkers for diagnosis.


Produced by Brian King, Ashley Gilleland, and Noel Gunther, BrainLine.

Deborah Shear, PhD Deborah Shear, PhD is the section chief for the in vivo Neuroprotection Labs, Brain Trauma Neuroprotection & Neurorestoration Branch; Center of Excellence for Psychiatry & Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, MD.

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