The average American has become familiar with the term “traumatic brain injury” (TBI) due to its association with professional athletes, veterans and young people. The long-term consequences of TBI are still being uncovered, but researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) think they may have made a significant discovery.
Traumatic brain injuries are dangerous because the real damage happens beneath the surface. The initial injury may not appear to be serious, but the secondary injury causes swelling and inflammation in the brain, and death of brain cells. If the secondary injury goes untreated, it can cause cognitive, emotional and behavioral issues, or even untimely death.
Scientists at the Colorado Center for Drug Discovery (C2D2) have made a discovery that may help victims of TBI avoid long-term damage.
A professor of pharmacology at CSU discovered that researchers could minimize brain swelling by blocking leukotrienes, an inflammatory molecule associated with asthma, to help prevent secondary injury.
Researchers discovered a protein known as FLAP that helped block leukotrienes in the brain. The drug is most effective for a small window of time, either shortly before or shortly after the injury.
The brain has a very good defense system to keep foreign contaminants out. Directly after a TBI, the blood-brain barrier weakens so the drug has a better chance of penetrating it. The compounds in the drug are very potent, but even so, they need the added access of the injury to be effective.
Researchers hope to accelerate development by “repurposing” drugs already used for asthma, but even then, it would take years to get the drug to market. Researchers are still optimistic that their breakthrough will help TBI victims sustain less permanent damage, and make fuller recoveries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Colorado
Traumatic brain injuries can have lasting effects on victims and their families. At Metier Law Firm, we know that TBI cases are complex and involve multiple legal and medical issues. To speak with lawyers who have years of experience defending TBI victims, call Metier Law Firm. Our attorneys can help make sure your rights are protected.
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