An experimental medication utilized to treat people with concussions is currently in its early stages of human trials. One study has revealed that the drug has the potential to reverse neural damage connected to traumatic brain injuries. This evidence lays the basis for a future drug that could prevent the cognitive deficits that result from concussions.
These results come from a team of California researchers who are examining signaling pathways referred to as the integrated stress response. This cellular mechanism is triggered when environmental stresses occur and often results in the shutting down of protein production found within the cells.
The research was initially focused on determining what drugs are capable of blocking ISR found in the brain to consequently treat various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. One of these medications, ISRIB, which inhibits ISR, is successful in improving cognition across various brain disease models, so the researchers began to study whether the medication has similar beneficial benefits when addressing more acute brain injuries.
The Goal of the Study
The co-senior author of the study has since commented that the goal of the study was to determine if ISRIB could reduce the neural symptoms associated with concussions. The author also expressed pleasure in discovering that the experimental medication was successful in normalizing both cognitive and neuronal functions.
Across the various models of traumatic brain injuries utilized in the study, ISRIB was determined to improve both behaviors as well as cognition. How the medication does this remains uncertain, though.
The Focus of the Study
The study zoomed in on the section of the brain referred to as the parietal cortex. This area plays a function in working memory. Researchers used sophisticated imaging technology to observe what happens after a brain injury.
Attention focused on how brain injuries impacted the formation of dendritic spines, which are the pathway between neurons. After mild concussions, researchers determined countless new dendritic spines in the parietal cortex, which is not considered to be good.
Some people might find this contradictory, assuming that more dendritic spines would help create new memories. Having too many spines is comparable to being in a crowded room with many people talking, making it impossible to hear the necessary information.
Damage Caused By Acute Brain Injuries
An acute brain injury can activate an ongoing stress response that results in the proliferation of dendritic spines, which can harm a person’s cognition. When ISRIB was administered to mice, their brain’s usual spine functions returned in addition to cognitive improvement.
The Future of the Study
The results are only as suggested in animal models, which means that additional work is required before the medication can be given to people who have suffered from a concussion. Safety trials on humans have already begun.
Speak with a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Brain injuries can leave accident victims facing substantial costs. If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury and someone else is responsible, you should not hesitate to contact a compassionate lawyer about obtaining the compensation you deserve. Contact House Law LLC today for assistance.
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