PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Doctors at Temple University Hospital are participating in a three-year, nationwide study of the use of the hormone Progesterone in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. While the hormone is not a replacement for standard brain injury treatment, those who care for these patients are seeing some positive results.
Dr. Nina Gentile says patients receive either a Progesterone or a placebo. Those enrolled in the study must be treated within four hours of the injury. The injury has to be moderate to severe. So when is the medicine given?
“We’re probably going to be intervening sometime between the time they get the cat scan and perhaps the time they go to the operating room if they need to,” Dr. Gentile says. “But generally, it’s something we start in the Emergency Department.”
Dr. Gentile says researchers have been studying the link between Progesterone and brain recovery for almost 30 years and no one is quite sure why it seems to work, but ICU Nurse Ann Weir says it does.
“The first patient had a pretty significant injury and we all thought ‘oh he’s gonna be vegetative’ and he actually walked out of here and came back to visit.”
Patients are given the medication for four days and then are followed for six months post injury to monitor their recovery.
Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio