Could there finally be an effective drug treatment for TBI/brain injuries that improves memory?
Brain injuries have been making the news, and a July 22 report from NBC Sports says that “[f]ormer Patriots and Broncos running back Cedric Cobbs avoided jail time on drug charges” mainly because he possibly had a brain injury from his career as a football player.
Arkansas Online reported that Cedric Cobbs “had been a patient for nearly four months at The Crosby Center, a clinic… that specializes in sports-related brain injuries.”
They also explained that Cobbs had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, “a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma.” Some of the common symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy include memory loss.
Now, DDD Mag reports on July 7 that a new drug “shows promise of improving memory loss after traumatic brain injuries.”
The study notes that the drug, a PDE4B inhibitor, was developed by Tetra Tech and has not yet been released to the market. Current treatments for memory issues related to brain injuries are medications such as Ritalin and Aricept.
Adding to this, M Live wrote on July 11 that Tetra Tech is a local Grand Rapids, Michigan, tech firm, and they interviewed the managers of the program that developed the experimental brain injury drug.
Tetra Tech’s CEO Mark Gurney was quoted stating that their clinical trials will begin in 2017 and will be conducted at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
The brain injury drug study also received funding from the National Institute of Health, and Tetra Tech thinks the outcome of the clinical trials will show that “PDE4B inhibition has the potential to improve learning and memory ability and overall functioning for people living with serious brain injuries.”
They also note that almost 80 percent of people with brain injuries “struggle with learning problems in the months to years after the trauma.”
However, treatments for certain aspects of brain injuries have been around for a while, and a July 22 report from Science Daily says doctors recently tested the effectiveness of brain injury treatments.
The academic journal article titled “Effectiveness of neurorehabilitation treatment for individuals with brain injury or stroke” was published in NeuroRehabilitation, and researchers concluded the following.
“Neuropsychological rehabilitation is effective in reducing client and carer reports of dysexecutive behaviors and carer strain. Rehabilitation can benefit clients with acquired brain injury and their families, even after the spontaneous recovery period.”
There have also been other new methods developed for treating the residual problems related to brain injuries.
News LODI writes on July 1 that a new drug delivery system has been developed specifically for brain injuries using peptides that find injured brain tissue and puts medicine in the exact place of the brain injury. Previously, the medications were delivered by injecting the brain.
Naturally, any new treatments for brain injuries are welcome because the results of a TBI often vary dramatically depending on the area of the brain that is affected.
On the Brain Injury Association of America website section about TBI treatments, nine different types of medications are discussed including anti-psychotics, sedative-hypnotic agents, and anti-convulsants.
On top of this, there are a diverse number of reasons patients get brain injuries, including being soldiers, having strokes or aneurysms, getting sports injuries, having car accidents, or being in other accidents that leave a person with reduced brain functioning.
Brain Line says that it is estimated that “there may be more than six million TBI survivors in society” that survived the injury but still have moderate to severe disabilities as a result of a brain injury.
A June 26 report from Indy Star emphasized America’s need for brain injury treatments for veterans, and they stated that “the current service member suicide epidemic is due in part to traumatic brain injuries incurred in combat. Diagnosed incidents of TBI exceed 320,000, with some estimates at 800,000.”
A July 22 report from the Department of Defense about treating brain injuries says “in the United States, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer a TBI annually. Of them, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized.”
[Photo by Luis M. Alvarez/AP Images]