New hope for survivors of stroke and traumatic brain injury

October 31, 2012

A new ground-breaking study about to be published in the Adis journal CNS Drugs provides clinical evidence that, for the first time, chronic neurological dysfunction from stroke or traumatic brain injury can rapidly improve following a single dose of a drug that targets brain inflammation, even years after the stroke or traumatic event.

The observational study¹ of 629 patients, conducted over the course of nearly two years, documents a diverse range of positive effects, including statistically significant rapid clinical improvement in , spasticity, cognition, etc. in the stroke group, with a similar pattern of improvement seen in the (TBI) group. The study involved 617 patients treated an average of 42 months after stroke and 12 patients treated an average of 115 months after TBI, long after further spontaneous meaningful recovery would be expected.

The study was conducted at the Institute of Neurological Recovery (INR) in the USA. The drug utilized was etanercept, a therapeutic that selectively binds and neutralizes an inflammatory immune molecule that may remain elevated for years following stroke. Etanercept was administered utilizing a novel delivery method, invented by Edward Tobinick M.D., lead author of the study.

"These results represent a sea change in the therapeutic possibilities for stroke and TBI patients," said Steven Ralph PhD, Associate Professor at Griffith University School of Medical Science in Australia. "Rarely do we see such a radical breakthrough in medical treatment as this for stroke. A previous example was the advance with thrombolytic therapy using drugs such as (t-PA) for the treatment of with their significant impact when applied at the early stages. However, no similar treatment has existed for chronic stroke until now."

Professor Ralph recently led a team of physicians to the INR for training in the new etanercept delivery method, prior to their initiation of randomized trials in Australia. "Our team observed, first hand, rapid clinical improvement in stroke patients following this brief office treatment," said Professor Ralph.

In an accompanying editorial², Professor Ian Clark, a world expert on tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and brain dysfunction, discusses the science underlying the novel treatment method and clinical results. The high prevalence of chronic post-stroke and post-TBI neurological disability, with millions of individuals affected worldwide, highlights the study's significance.

Explore further: Traumatic brain injury linked with tenfold increase in stroke risk

More information: References:

1. Tobinick E, Kim N, Reyzin G, et al. Selective TNF Inhibition for Chronic Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury – An Observational Study Involving 629 Consecutive Patients Treated with Perispinal Etanercept. CNS Drugs. 2012;16(12). DOI 10.1007/s40263-012-0013-2
2. Clark, I. New Hope for Survivors of Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury. CNS Drugs. 2012;16(12). DOI 10.1007/s40263-012-0014-1

Related Stories

Traumatic brain injury linked with tenfold increase in stroke risk

July 28, 2011
If you suffer traumatic brain injury, your risk of having a stroke within three months may increase tenfold, according to a new study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Traumatic brain injury: NIH-funded researchers will assess biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment

August 3, 2011
Biomarkers in the bloodstream could provide physicians with a quick and accurate method of assessing the severity of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and helping deliver and monitor the results of therapies, such as progesterone ...

Clot-busting drug safe for stroke patients taking blood thinner

May 10, 2012
Acute ischemic stroke patients taking the blood thinner warfarin can be treated safely with the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality ...

World's first successful clinical trial to protect the brain from damage caused by stroke

October 9, 2012
A team of Canadian scientists and clinicians, led by Dr. Michael Hill of the Calgary Stroke Program at Foothills Medical Centre and University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), have demonstrated that a neuroprotectant ...

Recommended for you

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

Study reveals key molecular link in major cell growth pathway

October 19, 2017
A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth. Their work, which ...

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

October 18, 2017
Scars may fade, but the skin remembers. New research from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.