According to a new study conducted by the Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington, DC, inflammation from a traumatic brain injury is caused by a protein that the liver produces. Researchers discovered that this protein has the ability to be blocked by a drug that is used to treat high blood pressure. Until now, there has been no way to reduce the damage caused by this type of inflammation.
For the study, researchers tested mice and found that small doses of the hypertension drug telmisartan were found to block production of one of the molecules in the protein’s biological pathway. This led to a substantial decrease in the inflammation.
According to the study’s lead researcher, professor Sonia Villapol of GUMC, “This study established a connection between the peripheral regions and the brain, highlighting the importance of regulating the peripheral damage when trying to mitigate the consequences of brain injury.”
Previous research suggests that telmisartan and candesartan—another hypertension drug—had beneficial effects in mice with traumatic brain injury even several hours after injury.
The time it takes to get a person from an accident site to the hospital for treatment can be lengthy. It is valuable for clinicians to know that even hours after a traumatic brain injury occurs, these drugs have the ability to decrease brain inflammation, bleeding and swelling in the brain and neuronal death.
Villapol adds, “…our findings suggest a treatment for both the brain and body would play a critical role in this chronic inflammatory response.”
The team hopes that their study will pave the way for clinical trials of these drugs in traumatic brain injury patients.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Vernon, J., “Hypertension drug reduces inflammation from traumatic brain injury,” Medical News Today web site, September 21, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/299637.php.