Improving Treatment Outcome for TBI by Healing Mitochondria
Mitchondria are the energy producing component of brain cells that fuel brain cell activity. Following TBI excessive release of the neurotransmitter glutamate can kill mitochondria by causing toxic influx of calcium into brain cells. A new treatment approach involving IV infusion of a drug called a mitochondria-uncoupler has been found to protect mitochondria from excessive glutamate. In one study adults with TBI showed 60% reduced mortality and improved brain function at 30 days following injury.
Dr. Jose Pineda at Washington University School of Medicine is using a drug to stimulate brain mitochondria in child patients with TBI and is seeing some remarkable results. Dr. Pineda was born in Guatamala where he studied biology before getting his medical degree. Before joining the faculty at W.U. he did laboratory and clinical studies on TBI at the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida.