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Diabetes drug could be a promising therapy for traumatic brain injury
Date:5/29/2012

tanding and quantifying the damage and forming a treatment plan through therapy or medication.

Prof. Pick and his colleagues designed a pre-clinical experiment that exposed mice to controlled explosions from 23 and 33 feet away, and then analyzed the resulting injuries. They also studied the effect of Exendin-4 as an additional parameter in minimizing brain damage.

The researchers divided their mice into four groups: a control group; a second group that was exposed to the blast without medication; a third group that received the medication but was not exposed to the blast; and a fourth group, exposed to the explosion but given the medication within an hour after the blast and continuing for seven days afterwards. The mice were placed under anaesthesia before the explosion.

Behavioral and physical tests showed that the mice that had been exposed to the blast had severely impaired brain function compared to the control group. However, the mice that had also received the Exendin-4 treatment were almost on a par with the control group in terms of brain function, proving that Exendin-4 significantly reduced the long-term damage done by an explosion. In separate experiments, the drug was also associated with an improved outcome in mice who sustained TBI by blunt force.

Finding the ideal drug cocktail

Prof. Pick says this promising discovery can help researchers find the ideal combination of medications to minimize the lasting impact of TBI. "We are moving in the right direction. Now we need to find the right dosage and delivery system, then build a cocktail of drugs that will increase the therapeutic value of this concept," he explains. He adds that in treating such traumatic injuries, one drug is unlikely to be sufficient.

This work was also done in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Citron from the American Veterans Association and Dr. Barry Hoffer from the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Instit
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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