- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is researching treatments that can be given in the first hours after a TBI to prevent or reverse much of the brain damage resulting from the injury. A recently completed NINDS–funded clinical trial involved lowering body temperature in TBI patients to 33° C (91.4° F) within eight hours of the injury. Patients younger than 45 years who were admitted to the hospital with lower than normal body temperature were better off if they were kept cool rather than being brought back to normal body temperature too quickly.
- Other ongoing clinical trials include the use of lowering body temperature for severe TBI in children, the use of magnesium sulfate chemical compounds to protect nerve cells after TBI, and the effects of lowering the pressure inside the brain and increasing the brain's blood flow.
- The use of stem cells to repair or replace damaged brain tissue is also a new avenue of research.
- Another important area of research involves the development of improved rehabilitation programs for those who have disabilities from a TBI.
NIH Studies TBI/PTSD Links
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an illness usually caused by living through or seeing a traumatic event, such as war, a hurricane, physical abuse, or a bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over. NIH-funded clinical trials are studying the relationships between traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and PTSD.