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Researchers Discover Compound That Protects Brain Cells After Traumatic Brain Injury

Update Date: Sep 12, 2014 09:06 AM EDT

Researchers have discovered a new class of compound that protects brain cells from the type of damage caused by blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to  a new study. 

The research found that the mice that were treated with compounds 24-36 hours after experiencing TBI from a blast injury were protected from the harmful effects of TBI. 

TBI caused by blast injury is one of the most common health problem among U.S. servicemen and women. According to estimates, 10 to 20 percent of the more than 2 million U.S. solders deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan have experienced TBI. 

The press release added that the condition is associated with many neurological complications, including cognitive and motor decline. It also leads to acquisition of psychiatric symptoms like anxiety and depressions and brain tissue abnormalities that resemble Alzheimer's disease.  

"The lack of neuroprotective treatments for traumatic brain injury is a serious problem in our society," says Andrew Pieper, M.D., Ph.D., senior study author and associate professor of psychiatry, neurology, and radiation oncology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. "Everyone involved in this work is motivated to find a way to offer hope for patients, which today include both military personnel and civilians, by establishing a basis for a new treatment to combat the deleterious neuropsychiatric outcomes after blast injury."

The study is published in the journal Cell Reports. 

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