New Approach to Treating TBI

In March 2015 Henry Ford Hospital researcher Ye Xiong, M.D., Ph.D., published an extensive review of the work going on at Henry Ford to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the online journal Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs. According to Dr. Xiong over the past several decades all 30 clinical trials of neuro-protective drugs that worked on mice have failed in humans. The purpose of those drugs was to shield brain cells from the toxic effects of the natural inflammatory process that go on in the brain consequent to a TBI. Unfortunately, although those drugs worked in mice brains they did not work in human brains. Dr. Xiong stated that over a dozen drugs being tested on mice at Henry Ford are showing promise of regrowing brain cell networks after the damage of a TBI has been done. These drugs work by promoting development of new brain tissue blood vessels and new glial cells (the cells that nourish brain tissue and help eliminate brain cell waste), as well as by helping brain cells sprout new axons to connect with the dendrites of surrounding neurons. Although this research will need time to bear fruit what makes it exciting is that it represents a whole new approach to treating brain injuries.

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