New brain injury therapy is created

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UPI) — U.S. medical scientists say they have developed an injectable treatment for severe brain injuries that are due to blunt force trauma.

Purdue University researchers Andrew Koob and Richard Borgens said they discovered such an injury can be reduced by application of a simple polymer –polyethylene glycol, or PEG — mixed in sterile water and injected into the blood stream.

Koob and Borgens performed experiments in rats that showed PEG was effective in limiting damage if administered within four hours after the head injury. However, if treatment was delayed for a further two hours, the beneficial effects were lost.

“These data suggest that PEG may be clinically useful to victims of traumatic brain injury if delivered as rapidly as possible after an injury,” said Borgens. “Such a treatment could feasibly be carried out at the scene of an accident where PEG could be delivered as a component of IV fluids, thus reducing long term brain injury.”

The study is reported in the Journal of Biological Engineering.

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