A Year In Review: 2015 Research Highlights in Traumatic Brain injury *

In 2015, increased research funding for both military-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) and sport-related chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) led to some notable advances in the understanding of and treatment for TBI. The outcomes of more robust clinical trials provided some long-awaited definitive answers to previously ambiguous research findings. And new findings in preclinical trials are providing some new directions for the future. The following are some highlights from the last year in research:

  • Despite promising results in pre-clinical trials, erythopoietin failed to show any benefit over a placebo for the treatment of moderate to severe TBI during a large, randomized controlled clinical trial.
  • After years of mixed research results, mild-to-moderate hypothermia has shown a benefit in the treatment of intracranial pressure (an inflammatory response from the TBI that can produce dangerous secondary injury).
  • Researchers have identified a cerebrospinal fluid pathway, where proteins, toxins, and other substances are cleared from the brain during sleep—this opening the door for novel diagnostic tools and treatments for TBI.
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