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News from the Latest Issue of Molecular Medicine
Date:9/21/2009

Vitamin D and Progesterone Partner Up Against Traumatic Brain Injury

(Vocus) September 21, 2009 -- In the current issue of Molecular Medicine, a team of scientists from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.), present evidence that vitamin D and progesterone may be beneficial in protecting the brain after traumatic injury. Traumatic brain injury is a complex illness and complication after the initial injury can last months or even years. Treatments with single drugs have not met with great success in clinical trials. Previous evidence shows that vitamin D and progesterone may each be neuroprotective on their own. In this study, Dr. Fahim Atif and colleagues researched whether or not combining vitamin D and progesterone treatments would be more beneficial than either drug alone. Their results show that vitamin D is a good partner for progesterone and should be studied further pre-clinically. In addition to helping patients with traumatic brain injury, such treatment combinations may also be helpful in other injuries of the central nervous system, such as stroke.

In another intriguing study in the current issue, Japanese scientists tested whether or not stem cells, known for their ability to become any one of a number of specific kinds of cells, could be used to reduce the spread of tumors in the lung. In laboratory experiments, scientists infused stem cells into the lungs and followed up with screenings to determine if tumor spread had been slowed and if survival had been affected. On both counts, the stem cells worked to stop the growth of new cancers and to prolong survival. Importantly, the stem cell treatment did not cause inflammation as a side-effec
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