Xenon Gas Limits Brain Damage After TBI

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a car crash or fall is initially a mechanical process involving bruising of brain tissue. The worst damage from TBI comes hours/days later when a bio-chemical process of inflammation and cell death occurs. Scientists have been trying for decades to understand and halt this secondary process. One way they have tried is to place patients in hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Now, a new and possibly more effective way has been discovered in mice.

In the September 2014 issue of Critical Care Medicine, Dr Robert Dickinson of Imperial College London, reported good success in limiting the bio-chemical effects of mechanical brain damage in mice by administering xenon gas to them hours after injury. Of groups of mice given a mechanical TBI the one given xenon hours after injury performed much better at tasks involving movement and balance than mice not given any xenon and mice given xenon days after injury. Dr. Dickenson hopes to get approval to try the experimental xenon treatment on human victims of TBI at  some point in the future.

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