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New treatment for brain, spinal cord injuries shows promise

Researchers are always looking for new and better treatments for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as well as spinal cord injuries caused by car crashes, other types of accidents and strokes. Now scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) say they're seeing positive results in lab animals from an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia.

Trifluoperazine (TFP) has been shown to prevent fluid from getting into the central nervous system and causing swelling. This swelling (edema) often occurs in the brain and/or spinal cord after an injury or stroke. The pressure caused by the swelling can cause serious damage and sometimes is fatal.

The researchers at Aston University in Birmingham, England, found that when they injected injured rats with a single dose of TFP, their motor and sensory functions showed significant improvements in two weeks. The rats that didn't receive the treatment did not. The lead author of the study says, "By using a drug already licensed for human use, we have shown how it is possible to stop the swelling and pressure build-up in the CNS [central nervous system] that is responsible for long-term harm."

Studies in a number of institutions here in the U.S. are also showing promise and reducing inflammation as well as things like regenerating blood vessels in those who have suffered traumatic injuries. Currently, these patients often have to undergo high-risk surgery and/or be placed in an induced coma to help relieve the swelling and prevent further harm as well as improve their chances of survival.

If a loved one has suffered a serious brain or spinal cord injury, it's important to understand that the treatment that could help them get back to a more normal life may not have been discovered yet. If you're taking legal action against those at fault for the injury to seek compensation for medical expenses and other losses, it's essential to consider the cost of treatments that may benefit them in the future. An experienced attorney can help you.

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