By On November 17th, 2008

New Brain Injury Treatment?

Technology Review published an article on a red blood cell booster hormone erythropoietin (EPO), several studies have shown that this hormone can protect against the cell death and even swelling that accompanies traumatic brain injury – at least in animals. Gunnarson, of the Kaarolinksa Institute in Swedend, “found that the drug works by targeting the astroglia (also known as astrocytes), closing down a channel that normally imports water into these cells”.

While some of the neural damage that accompanies traumatic brain injury, such as that resulting from car accidents or explosions, results from the impact of the accident, most of it unfolds over days, weeks and perhaps even months after the injury, triggered by a chemical cascade that triggers inflammation and cell death.

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