Diabetes drug could be a promising therapy for traumatic brain injury
Although the death toll is relatively low for people who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI), it can have severe, life-long consequences for brain function. TBI can impair a patient's mental abilities, impact memory and behavior, and lead to dramatic personality changes. And long-term medical treatment carries a high economic cost.
Now, in research commissioned by the United States Air Force, Prof. Chaim Pick of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Nigel Greig of the National Institute of Aging in the US have discovered that Exendin-4, an FDA-approved diabetes drug, significantly minimizes damage in TBI animal models when administered shortly after the initial incident. Originally designed to control sugar levels in the body, the drug has recently been found effective in protecting neurons in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
Prof. Pick's collaborators include his TAU colleagues Dr. Vardit Rubovitch, Lital Rachmany-Raber, and Prof. Shaul Schreiber, and Dr. David Tweedie of the National Institute of Aging in the US. Detailed in the journal Experimental Neurology, this breakthrough is the first step towards developing a cocktail of medications to prevent as much brain damage as possible following injury.
Diabetes medication to halt trauma
Prof. Pick has been researching TBI for many years, beginning with the effects of everyday injuries such as hitting the windshield in a car accident. As a result of his work for the Air Force, he has expanded his research to include trauma sustained when a person is exposed to an explosion, such as during a terrorist attack.
TBI causes long-term damage by changing the chemistry of the brain. During an explosion, increased pressure followed by an intense vacuum shakes the fluid inside the brain and damages the brain's structure. This damage cannot be reversed, but mapping the injury through behavioral and physical tests is crucial to understanding and quantifying the damage and forming a treatment plan through therapy or medication.
Prof. Pick and his colleagues designed a pre-clinical experiment that exposed mice to controlled explosions from 23 and 33 feet away, and then analyzed the resulting injuries. They also studied the effect of Exendin-4 as an additional parameter in minimizing brain damage.
The researchers divided their mice into four groups: a control group; a second group that was exposed to the blast without medication; a third group that received the medication but was not exposed to the blast; and a fourth group, exposed to the explosion but given the medication within an hour after the blast and continuing for seven days afterwards. The mice were placed under anaesthesia before the explosion.
Behavioral and physical tests showed that the mice that had been exposed to the blast had severely impaired brain function compared to the control group. However, the mice that had also received the Exendin-4 treatment were almost on a par with the control group in terms of brain function, proving that Exendin-4 significantly reduced the long-term damage done by an explosion. In separate experiments, the drug was also associated with an improved outcome in mice who sustained TBI by blunt force.
Finding the ideal drug cocktail
Prof. Pick says this promising discovery can help researchers find the ideal combination of medications to minimize the lasting impact of TBI. "We are moving in the right direction. Now we need to find the right dosage and delivery system, then build a cocktail of drugs that will increase the therapeutic value of this concept," he explains. He adds that in treating such traumatic injuries, one drug is unlikely to be sufficient.
This work was also done in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Citron from the American Veterans Association and Dr. Barry Hoffer from the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institute of Health.
Journal reference: Experimental Neurology
Provided by Tel Aviv University
- Researchers discover how brain's memory center repairs damage from head injury Mar 31, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Pill ingredient could prevent brain damage after head injury Apr 30, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Skull resconstruction immediately following traumatic brain injury worsens brain damage Mar 22, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Single traumatic brain injury may prompt long-term neurodegeneration Jul 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Growing evidence suggests progesterone should be considered a treatment option for traumatic brain injuries Dec 22, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
3 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In a remote fishing community in Venezuela, a lone fisherman sits on a cliff overlooking the southern Caribbean Sea. This man –– the lookout –– is responsible for directing his comrades on the water, ...
Neuroscience 36 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Many brain researchers cannot see the forest for the trees. When they use electrodes to record the activity patterns of individual neurons, the patterns often appear chaotic and difficult to interpret.
Neuroscience 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—We spend about a third of our life asleep, but why we need to do so remains a mystery. In a recent publication, researchers at University of Surrey and University College London suggest a new hypothesis, ...
Neuroscience 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A three-year multinational study has tracked and detailed the progression of Huntington's disease (HD), predicting clinical decline in people carrying the HD gene more than 10 years before ...
Neuroscience 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
While Huntington's disease (HD) is currently incurable, the HD research community anticipates that new disease-modifying therapies in development may slow or minimize disease progression. The success of HD research depends ...
Neuroscience 16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A novel approach to obstructing the runaway inflammatory response implicated in some types of asthma has shown promise in a Phase IIa clinical trial, according to U. S. researchers.
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Authorities are investigating rice mills in southern China following tests that found almost half of the staple grain in one of the country's largest cities was contaminated with a toxic metal.
36 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University, Sweden, have bioengineered a novel molecule which has been proven to successfully kill tumour cells.
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Regardless of pain, social class or age, a woman is more likely to be prescribed pain-relieving drugs. A study published in Gaceta Sanitaria (Spanish health scientific journal) affirms that this phenomenon is inf ...
55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
An article published on the journal Nature describes the major role that Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) —an enzyme of cellular energy metabolism— plays in the regulation of the cellular senescence induce ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Clinical measurement of physical activity appears to be an independent predictor of whether or not patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will end up being hospitalized, according to a new study conducted ...
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0