It can be very difficult to immediately evaluate and determine the amount of damage suffered in a brain injury. Every year, nearly 2 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury, resulting in 52,000 deaths. The impact brain injuries can have varies from mild to deadly but can be tough to ascertain the level of damage.
Scientists have been discussing what is being considered the world’s first clinical trial to use the hormone progesterone as a treatment for moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Every year, 50,000 Americans die because of a traumatic brain injury and 80,000 more Americans become disabled. Some brain injury treatments can include barbiturates, mannitol, and surgery, but these methods are last-resort and do not always work.
Daily life can become severely disrupted because of a brain injury and tasks such as concentrating or memory can become problematic. In animal studies, progesterone was able to improve memory and cognitive thinking skills after suffering a brain injury. The rats had less brain swelling and were able to better recover when treated shortly after the brain injury.
The progesterone was able to moderate the brain injury inflammation that can lead to dangerous head swelling after a brain injury. After a traumatic brain injury is suffered, damaging chemicals called free radicals appear to be slowed and sometimes blocked by the use of progesterone. The secondary injury after the initial brain injury trauma is what can cause increases in brain injury size and lead to death, but progesterone brain injury treatment seems to protect the brain from nerve, neuron, and other brain cell breakdown.
There are an estimated 400,000 children that suffer a brain injury every year at least. While little is known about effectively treating a brain injury, even less is known about how to treat a brain injury in a child. Now, three medical journals have published guidelines to hopefully save lives when treating a traumatic brain injury in a child. Children and adults differ in many ways and by making separate guidelines for treating brain injuries children may be able to recover from their brain injury. A child’s brain is often better able to heal because it is younger and proper brain injury treatment can result in a full recovery.