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Hormone could help heal traumatic brain injuries

Denise Dador
Published Date: 
23 July 2013
ABC News
Original article: 

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Close to 2 million people are affected by traumatic brain injury, or TBI, every year. After an injury, the goal is to preserve as much of the brain function as possible. Researchers are hoping a hormone our bodies produce naturally can help bring the first ever TBI treatment to those who need it.

"As I was driving, I blacked out behind the wheel, and the car went into the back of a parked 18 wheeler," said Lester Talley.

Health issues led to Talley's near-fatal accident. The husband and father of two suffered a serious traumatic brain injury.

"My brain had started swelling," said Talley.

"There really is no definitive therapy for the treatment of acute brain injury," said Dr. Daniel Laskowitz, a professor in neurology at Duke University.

While in a coma, Talley was enrolled in a phase three clinical trial called SyNAPSe, short for the Study of the Neuroprotective Activity of Progesterone in Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries.

The research is testing if progesterone could help treat TBI. It's a natural hormone produced in men and women that's most often associated with pregnancy.

"There is good evidence that it reduces inflammation," said Laskowitz.

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