Thursday, May 01, 2008

Study: Birth Control for Brain Injury

Even though I've long been a helmet advocate for many outdoor sports (biking, climbing, skiing, etc.), I've also been vocal about how inadequate most helmet really are. For starters, most of the ones commonly worn do not prevent concussion, contrary to popular belief. Of course helmets can only withstand a certain amount of force too, often far less than many people realize. So the bottom line is, helmets or not, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are still going to happen.

This new study shows that injections of progestrone, an ingredient in birth control pills, can significantly reduce the effects of TBI. The randomized, double-blind trial found that 6 months after patients experience severe trauma, those who received the progesterone shots for five days after the accident were in much better shape.
Having witnessed the results of a nasty TBI in more than one friend, I wish this research had been done years ago. But should any of you in the future have friends or family with a TBI, it would be well worth checking with their doctors about this protocol.


ClaireWalter said...

This is interesting but unless I missed something, doesn't clarify whether progestrone was used on men, women or both and what the side effects might have been. I suppose side effects are acceptable if the mitigate TBI, but still...I wonder.

Clyde said...

The study involved 159 people admitted to a hospital with acute TBI. About 2/3 were men. The significant favorable outcome was found for both men and women. Unfortunately, just a few days after I posted this, a climber wearing a helmet took a bad fall in Elodrado and received a serious TBI...I hope the doctors were aware of this research.