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Researchers Attempt to Develop Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Drug That Could Treat, and Even Cure, Brain Injuries

Doctors at Wayne State University School of Medicine are working on developing a treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Currently, there are no treatments for those suffering from a TBI.

Traumatic brain injury causes a decrease in blood flow in the cerebrum of the brain, which if prolonged, can cause permanent cell dysfunction and death. A receptor in the brain contributes to the restriction of blood flow as early as four hours after a brain injury. The new drug, called clazosentan, is thought to specifically block these receptors.

The researchers began testing the new TBI drug on rats through an intravenous line at several different points in time after the injury. Next, they measured the rat's blood flow in the brain with an MRI and tested their behavior in learning a maze.

Early reports found that clazosentan decreased the effects of the traumatic brain injury on blood flow to the hippocampus by 25% at four hours and 23%at 48 hours after TBI. However, giving the rats the drug at 12 hours post-injury caused some to improve, while others worsened or remained the same. In the trial, the drug was most effective when given at two hours post-injury and again at 24 hours after the trauma. The rats also performed better on the maze test when given the drug at two and 24 hours post-injury.

This new drug, and continued research, could lead to great developments in the treatment of TBIs.

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