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Monday, 28 October 2013

Hormonal Remedy for Brain Injuries

Autism is a non-traumatic type of brain injury; the kind you typically see in the Emergency Room is TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), after a car crash or, in the US, a shooting.

TBIs are very common and frequently fatal; when not fatal they often produce grave ongoing physical and psychological consequences, some of which may be life-long.  As a result there is a great deal of research into understanding TBIs and how to best treat them.

In this blog we have already mentioned that statins are being used to successfully treat TBI.  As I discovered, they have an impact in autism as well.

My renewed interest in TBI is two fold:-
  1. Does TBI cause ongoing hormonal changes in the brain? (as does ASD)
  2. Are there hormone therapies for TBI? (there are experimental ones for ASD)
The answer is yes and yes.

After a TBI there frequently are hormonal changes and they have even been given a name.

Post TBI Hormonal Deficiency Syndrome

The most frequently affected hormones are reported to be growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).  This is interesting because these same hormones appear to be affected in autism.

There is a hormone therapy for TBI and it is currently undergoing a third stage clinical trial at 67 hospitals across the US. 

Progesterone for the Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (ProTECT III)
You can read all about the study with the above link.  If you are curious as to how Progesterone can reduce neuroinflammation and be neuroprotective, here is another paper:-
Progesterone as a neuroprotective factor in traumatic and ischemic brain injury

Regular readers of this blog will know that I like charts.  Here is a neat summary of how progesterone helps in TBI.




Progesterone is indeed a female hormone, but it is also present in small amounts in the male brain.  It is a fringe therapy for ADD and ADHD with the hormone given transdermally.

In TBI, progesterone is being given intravenously in the ER, as soon as possible after the accident.

In autism we are working many years after the brain injury occurred, but that should not stop us looking further.  The same applies to statins.


 

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