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New Class of Drugs May Limit Brain Inflammation

Medical Express News this week reported on the results of a new study which may help those with brain injuries deal with the inflammation of the organ. Scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine have identified various materials which seem to act as a tool to protect brain cells from inflammation. This swelling of the brain is a common attribute of certain head injuries, and it is often linked to seizures and neurodegenerative diseases.

The science of the materials gets a little complex. According to the story, the compounds block one of the four receptors for a certain hormone involved in certain brain features. Those features include a wide range of activities, from fevers and digestions, to childbirth and blood pressure regulation. Before this research there were no known chemicals which could block the signals from these receptors. This research changes that. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys appreciate that the power to reduce inflammation in this way could be an important tool for doctors down the road to help spare brain injury victims the harm that comes with excessive inflammation.

The testing of the chemical has yet to be done on humans. However, in the animal subjects, use of the chemical resulted in marked reductions in inflammation to the brain after a prolonged seizure. These exciting findings were reported in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences magazine.

The senior author of the report explained that EP2-the compound that is blocked by the chemical-plays a roll wherever inflammation occurs in the nervous system. Discussing the potential benefits of the new chemical, the author summarized, “Anywhere that inflammation is playing a role via EP2, this class of compounds could be useful. Outside the brain, EP2 blockers could find uses in other diseases with prominent inflammatory component such as cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.”

Overall, one of the main goals of the research project was actually not directly focused on limiting brain injuries. Instead, the story notes that the goal was essentially to develop non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen. However, the goal was to find alternatives while avoiding the some of those drugs’ side-effects. Excessive use of aspirin, for example, can lead to weakening of the stomach lining. This new compound that was found has similar protective effects without the negatives.

The Illinois brain injury lawyers at our firm understand that there is a ways to go before these developments actually translate into new treatments or a class of drugs that might be given to patients. While it is exciting to report on developments in research as they are published, it usually only marks the beginning of a long process that one day ends in better options for patients. These extra steps are usually necessary to ensure the efficacy of the findings and the safety of their use in humans. Our team will be sure to follow these results as they continue through to process to hopefully one day improving the lives of those suffering from brain inflammation.

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