Study: Human hormone might help brain injury victims

headEvery year, millions of people suffer from a life-changing injury with no known cure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries occur annually. These injuries can cause various detrimental and permanent changes, including physical impairments, reduced cognitive ability and emotional disorders.

TBI victims in Las Vegas, Nevada, may find it difficult to work, care for themselves and maintain personal relationships. TBIs are a leading cause of disability among children and young adults, according to the CDC. Although victims may overcome certain symptoms, there is no treatment to reverse the effects of TBI. A new study, however, may generate the first known treatment.

Healing potential of progesterone 

The study tests how the human hormone progesterone can reduce or reverse the effects of a TBI. Small amounts of progesterone exist naturally in the brain, and brain tissue contains a large number of progesterone receptors. Laboratory experiments suggest progesterone protects damaged tissue and plays an integral role in neuron development. These properties may allow progesterone to limit damage from TBIs.

In early experiments, the administration of progesterone immediately after a TBI reduced mortality by 50 percent. Progesterone treatments also reduced the number of observed disabilities in patients who survived their injuries. Now, researchers are conducting a double-blind phase III trial of more than 1,140 patients. If this trial confirms the effectiveness of progesterone, the hormone could be approved for widespread use. However, the trial will last three to six years, so this treatment will not immediately be available to victims.

Living with TBI 

Sadly, TBIs often occur in preventable accidents. For example, falls, assaults and motor vehicle accidents account for almost two-thirds of TBIs, according to the CDC. Victims may be entitled to compensation when a TBI occurs as the result of another person’s negligence. Negligence is defined as a breach in the duty owed to another person that could have been reasonably expected to cause injury and avoided.

TBI victims who file a lawsuit may receive personal injury damages for various losses, financial and otherwise. These include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning power
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering 

The financial costs and physical limitations of a TBI are life-long, and they may worsen over time. Often, symptoms or conditions associated with TBI only become apparent months or years after the injury. It is crucial for victims to receive adequate compensation so they can deal with these ongoing challenges.

In Nevada, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of injury. Even if a TBI appears mild or seems to have few lingering effects, victims should consider meeting with an attorney before this deadline passes.