Friday, January 07, 2011

Do Women Recover Better from TBI than Men?

Emory research offers new hope to those with brain injuries

January 1, 2011 - Emory University professor Donald Stein became captivated years with ago with a question: Why would women recover better from brain injuries than men?

After years of research in the lab, he found a simple answer in progesterone. The developmental hormone turned out to have a remarkable ability to help lab rats recover from brain injuries. And Stein suspected that it could also help people recover from the devastating effects of car crashes, falls and assaults.

Stein’s theory immediately encountered resistance in the scientific and medical community. “Everybody said this is ridiculous, it’s just a female hormone, it’s not going to work. You’re a dreamer,” Stein said.

But Stein didn’t drop the work. He couldn’t, after what he had observed in his lab. “The results were so clear,” he said. “I was aggravated enough that I said I’m going to pursue this because it just seems so reasonable.”

Stein is no longer the only believer. Emory University is now leading a major evaluation of Stein’s theory, with a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that is testing the healing possibilities of progesterone on brain injury patients at 17 medical centers in 15 states. {continued}

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