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Drug reduces brain inflammation after trauma

Traumatic brain injuries are incurred by people in West Virginia and around the country every year. They can result from automobile accidents, contact sports, falls and many other occurrences. Once the initial trauma happens, it triggers an hepatic manufacture of substances that result in brain inflammation. Blocking the inflammation reduces certain effects of the injury, and some drugs used to control hypertension have been found to be helpful in this regard.

Approximately 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually, resulting in more than 50,000 fatalities. About 275,000 victims need to be hospitalized. Older individuals, children under 4 years of age and teenagers are most susceptible. Such injuries can interfere with the ability to function appropriately at work or in daily activities.

Researchers at Georgetown University found a substance responsible for the inflammation associated with TBI that causes a decrease in the blood flow to the brain, the death of nerve cells, bleeding in the brain and swelling. This substance is a protein produced in the liver that increases dramatically as a result of the initial brain trauma. It is responsible for the subsequent inflammation.

The antihypertensive drug telmisartan interferes with the production of the liver protein and hence the inflammation. Another medication, candesartan, works in the same way. If a TBI victim receives the drugs quickly after the injury, the inflammation is reduced and thus the associated damage as well. It is important to recognize that administering the drugs within six hours after the injury results in a better outcome.

A traumatic brain injury can be a life-altering event for a victim. It could result in significant medical expenses, lengthy rehabilitation and, in some cases, an inability to return to gainful employment. If the injury was caused by the negligence of another, a personal injury attorney might help the victim pursue compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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