Alzheimer's drug may help traumatic brain injury patients

Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of disability and death worldwide, with current treatments failing to provide significant results.

By Amy Wallace

July 21 (UPI) -- Researchers have found that the drug, memantine, used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease may help traumatic brain injury patients as well.

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a blow or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Despite progress in neuromonitoring and neuroprotection, pharmacological interventions have been unsuccessful at bringing relief to patients.

The study, published July 19 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, examined the effect of the drug memantine on serum levels of neuron-specific enolase, or NSE, which is a marker of neuronal damage.

Researchers also measured the Glasgow Coma Scale, or GCS, in 41 patients with moderate TBI who were divided into a treatment group and a control group.

Patients in the treatment group received enteral memantine 30 mg twice a day for seven days along with standard treatment.

GCS is the most common scoring system used to describe a level of consciousness in a person after having a TBI.

The study showed patients with moderate TBI who received memantine had significantly reduced blood levels of NSE after seven days and marked improvements in their GCS scores after three days.


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