Recent News Articles
Diabetes drug helps ease brain injury harm
Israeli and U.S. researchers say existing diabetes medication may ease damage caused by traumatic brain injury.
Professor Chaim Pick of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Nigel Greig of the National Institute of Aging in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues discovered Exendin-4, a diabetes drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, significantly minimizes damage in traumatic brain injury 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, the researchers said.
Pick and colleagues Dr. Vardit Rubovitch, Lital Rachmany-Raber Shaul Schreiber and Dr. David Tweedie, said traumatic brain injury 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.
The researchers exposed mice to controlled explosions from 23 and 33 feet away.
The study, published in the journal Experimental Neurology, found 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 traumatic brain injury by blunt force, Pick said.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International