A new class of compounds has been shown to protect against brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
The compound, which has so far only been tested in mice, is given orally. Even mice treated 24-36 hours after experiencing traumatic brain injury from a blast were protected from the harmful effects of TBI, including problems with learning, memory, and movement.
Dr. Andrew Pieper is senior study author and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Radiaton Oncology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He says the compound also has the potential to be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's and ALS.
TBI was a common injury for the 2 million U.S. servicemen and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of soldiers suffered the effects of TBI. The study was published September 11, 2014 in the journal Cell.