Emory University researchers maintain that the naturally occurring hormone progesterone (PROG) could be a viable clinical treatment option for traumatic brain injuries.
“Growing evidence indicates that post-injury administration of PROG in a variety of brain damage models can have beneficial effects, leading to substantial and sustained improvements in brain functionality,” wrote lead researcher Donald G. Stein, PhD, in a medical journal.
PROG was recently tested in two phase 2 clinical trials for traumatic brain injury and will soon begin a phase 3 double-blind trial sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a National Institutes of Health agency.
“It’s a hormone, in my opinion, that’s evolved to protect the fetus,” Dr. Stein explained. “A lot of mechanisms in repair, not only in the brain but in all highly traumatized tissue, while not identical in development are similar….One of the things about swelling in the brain, called cerebral edema from, say, injuries in the battlefield, is…that it can kill somebody if not controlled. And what progesterone has been shown to do effectively is to basically dramatically reduce inflammation and subsequently swelling.”
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