A federally funded study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows an old flu drug is the first treatment shown to speed up recovery from severe brain injuries, according to a USA Today report. Amantadine, an inexpensive flu medicine, was given to severely injured patients during the study, and these patients recovered faster than the ones who were only given a placebo. After four weeks of the drug being administered, the group taking the flu medicine was able to follow commands, give yes or no answers, and use a spoon and hairbrush, showing signs of recovery as they were unable to do these things at the start of the study. Far fewer patients who took amantadine remained in a vegetative state.
Though the use of this flu drug to treat brain injuries is not new, this is the first big study to prove that it works. An estimated 1.7 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year, with an alarming 52,000 dying each year and 275,000 hospitalized as a result of these injuries. With no proven remedies for the treatment of brain injuries, healthcare professionals have relied on drugs used to treat other illnesses in hopes they would be effective for brain injury patients. This new study, conducted in the U.S., Denmark, and Germany, which involved 184 severely disabled patients, brings welcome news for those suffering from a brain injury and may be an important step toward developing new therapies.
Suffering from a traumatic brain injury can permanently impact the life of the victim, and recovery can be costly. The Annapolis traumatic brain injury lawyers of Alpert Schreyer are committed to helping those who have suffered a brain injury as a result of another’s negligence obtain compensation to aid in recovery. To see how our experienced law team can help you, call (866) 444-6363 for a free case evaluation.