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Medical researchers have discovered a new therapeutic approach that may provide relief to patients suffering from Traumatic brain injury or TBI. The new finding could potentially improve the lives of millions of people across the world who suffer from the condition.

TBI is dangerous because it is life-long, and it causes neurodegeneration. Unfortunately, there are no treatments that can slow down the degeneration or provide relief. The only existing option for traumatic injury survivors is cognitive and physical rehabilitation, as well as some medicines that are supposed to curb the symptoms. However, none of those options are enough to prevent neurodegeneration. This is why the discovery is a huge deal for TBI patients.

Researchers discovered a new method through which they can reverse neurodegeneration and its effects. The study was a collaborative effort between scientists from Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals, and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. They successfully managed to reverse neurodegeneration in an animal model of TBI.

P7C3-A20’s role in the grand scheme of things

Professor Andrew A. Pieper, the senior author of the study, developed a mouse model that had similar characteristics as TBI in a middle-aged patient. They explored the idea using a neuroprotective compound called P7C3-A20, which previously demonstrated some therapeutic capacity against mild TBI. The researchers waited for 12 months after the onset of the mouse model of TBI, after which they started administering P7C3-A20 to the mice daily for a month.

“When we examined the brains under the microscope, we saw that chronic neurodegeneration after TBI had completely stopped in the mice that had been briefly-treated with P7C3-A20,” stated Dr. Edwin Vázquez-Rosa who was one of the study co-authors.

The researchers observed through an electron microscope that P7C3-A20 aided the repair process for endothelial cells located in the brain’s blood vessels. Dr. Min-Kyoo Shin, a co-author in the study, noted that it was the first time they observed P7C3-A2’s ability to repair and protect endothelial cells. The researchers believe that the study’s findings could pave the way for the development of a therapy that may finally allow TBI patients to recover.