Brain injury patients in Miami and other cities often face serious and long-term consequences as a result of their injuries. Some patients, for example, face mobility or memory problems while others have their cognitive issues. Now, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, University of the Negev, and Charité-University Medicine have found a new option that might eventually help people who develop epilepsy after brain injury.
Epilepsy is not an uncommon problem for patients who have been in a car accident in Miami or other city or have otherwise suffered a serious brain injury. In fact, one tenth to one fifth of epilepsy cases result from traumatic brain injury.
The new research was conducted on rats and found that a medication known as Cozaar or losartan could help prevent epileptic attacks in some cases. For patients who already have epilepsy, the medication could help prevent further brain damage. Currently, Cozaar is an FDA-approved medicine used to treat high blood pressure and has not yet been approved for brain injury or epileptic patients. Researchers will need to conduct further animal trials before conducting human testing. Human testing may start within a few years and the drug already seems promising for treating epilepsy in brain trauma cases.
Researchers are excited by the new study, since treatment options may be limited for brain injury patients who have suffered epilepsy as a result of head trauma. Right now, patients who have seizures and other issues related to epilepsy after being in a motorcycle accident in Miami or another accident are usually given medication to treat symptoms. That medication can cause serious side effects and does not eliminate epilepsy. The new drug therapy, if it is shown effective, has the potential to stop the development of epilepsy after a concussion or head trauma and it may have fewer side effects when compared with current treatments.
In the study, about 60 percent of rats given Cozaar failed to develop any seizures after a traumatic brain injury, where all rats would usually develop epilepsy. Even in the 40 percent of rats that did experience seizures, researchers noted that rats given the drug had about one-quarter the number of seizures common with rats not given any drug therapy. The rats only needed the medication for about three weeks after the injury to prevent the development of seizures.
The drug may work because it enters the blood-brain barrier, which can become disrupted in a traumatic brain injury. In a health person, the blood-brain barrier keeps any dangerous bacteria or drugs from entering the brain and it prevents any brain chemicals from entering the blood. After a serious brain injury, this layer of protection can be disrupted, according to researchers, and this can lead to the development of epilepsy.
Researchers have developed an MRI protocol to diagnose whether the blood-brain barrier has been compromised so that patients can be given drug therapy right away to prevent the development of seizures. According to the researchers, the blood-brain barrier will heal within a few weeks, so the medication should be administered quickly after the injury and should to only be administered for a short while.
If you have suffered a serious injury in South Florida, do not hesitate to contact Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange a free, confidential case assessment.