Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 17, 2019 – According to research done by scientists at University of Texas in San Antonio, a new treatment may be available for patients with brain trauma.
Currently, there is no particularly effective treatment option for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, a study published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism may change that. The study shows that mice with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were able to recover brain function almost to the level of healthy mice with no TBI.
After a brain injury in both mice and humans, dangerous inflammation occurs killing nerve cells and breaking down the blood-brain barrier, a critical part of the process of maintaining normal brain function. Forty percent of the mice in the study suffered a seizure within seven days of a brain injury, seizures that continued for years, often leading to epilepsy. This progressive pattern of brain dysfunction was also observed in humans with TBI and led to changes in emotions and cognitive ability.
The experimental new therapy aims to increase the mobility of “M-type” KCNQ potassium ion channels, proteins that can stop out-of-control electrical currents in nerve cells. The abnormal currents start immediately after a TBI and precede a seizure. Upping the activity aims to counteract the threat of seizures and stop further cell and brain destruction. According to research data, no seizures were seen in mice that had been treated following a TBI.
The study also revealed that the treatment has other beneficial effects that include reducing widespread cell death and reducing inflammation.
“This particular discovery could have significant ramifications for people who sustain a TBI”, indicated Austin TBI attorney, Brooks Schuelke. “Largely due to the fact that anti-seizure medications on the market right now do not prevent the development of post TBI epilepsy.” Should this discovery prove effective, it would make a difference for those with TBI. Right now, roughly six percent of all epilepsy cases are the result of head trauma.
More tests should be done to see how increasing the activity of “M-type” KCNQ potassium ion channels acts in the long–term and how it effects other organs. The new research is making strides toward a possible solution to dealing with TBI treatment.
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