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UNT Health Science Center's Groundbreaking Research Applied to Protecting Brain After Traumatic Injury
Date:7/3/2009

ain and believe them safe for use in this patient population," Simpkins said.

The clinical trials are based on now hundreds of scientific publications from Simpkins' group and others demonstrating the protective effects of estrogens in acute brain injury. Simpkins leads a large National Institutes of Health-funded program of research to discover substances that can protect the brain from injury. This is the first major clinical study to emanate from these basic science studies at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

Estrogens are made in large amounts by young women, but only in small amounts by men. Prior studies have suggested that young women are more resistant to brain trauma injury than are older, post-menopausal women and men. This apparent resistance of young women to brain trauma may be because of their higher estrogen levels. These current studies of the effects of rapid estrogen administration on patients with traumatic brain injury and hemorrhagic shock will be a test of this proposal.

In 1994, Simpkins discovered that estrogens were protective to nerve cells and subsequently has demonstrated that, if administered soon after brain injury in animals, estrogens can protect nerve cells and reduce neurological deficits. Application of these discoveries to human subjects awaited the interactions of Simpkins with the pioneering clinical research of Wigginton, who is now the first to take estrogens into clinical trials for acute brain injury and hemorrhagic shock.

University of North Texas Health Science Center

The University of North Texas Health Science Center comprises the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the School of Health Professions. Key research areas include aging
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SOURCE University of North Texas Health Science Center/Fort Worth
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