Flu Drug Helps Patients with Severe TBI

Amantadine is an old drug originally developed to treat respiratory infections caused by the flu. In September 2012 Dr. Joseph Giacino (a neuropsychologist who teaches at Harvard University and sees patients at Mass. General Hospital in Boston) published a study on the use of Amantadine in patients with severe brain injury who were unable to communicate as a consequence of their injury.

Patients who took the drug improved their ability to communicate much more rapidly than patients who took a placebo. The patients who took Amantadine were able to answer “yes” or “no” questions and consistently follow commands after four weeks, while the patients in the placebo group could not.

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