Our Chicago brain injury lawyers recently shared the results of new research that painted a somewhat depressing picture of the current ability of medical professionals to treat the complications that result from head trauma, oxygen deprivation, and other injuries that cause brain trouble. The complexity of the brain continues to befuddled our top-notch medical experts who are working to figure out new ways to help patients who have suffered brain injuries. The lack of proper treatment for many victims, means that the consequences are quite high for those who suffer brain trauma.
While many experts have reported on the lack of proper treatment, this week came with a bit of good news, as medical experts released results which indicate some progress in treating these injuries. As reported in Physician’s Weekly, a new study has found that patients taking cholesterol-lowering statins to treat their brain injuries were found much more likely to survive when compare with those who did not take the drug. The research project was conducted by experts at Johns Hopkins and was published in The Journal of Trauma this month.
Statins are a class of drug for cholesterol that works by inhibiting an enzyme that is involved in the production of cholesterol. The research team analyzed senior patients who had moderate to severe brain damage and found that within that group those who were taking statins were much more likely to survive. The only exception was for those who had documented heart disease-those patients were not found to have the same statin benefit.
As encouraging as these results are, it is important to keep them into perspective. There remain no specific treatments know for traumatic brain injury. This latest work is not necessarily a treatment in itself, but it may point the way toward a method of helping these patients down the road. At this point, researchers do not believe that lowering cholesterol actually improves recovery from brain injuries. Instead, they suspect that other properties of the statins are responsible for the increased life expectancy of those taking the drugs. Obviously the next step is to investigate the specifics of the drug to determine what it is about them that actually helps in these situations.
Previous work has already linked the anti-inflammatory effect that statins produce on helping stroke patients survive. The benefit has also been found for those suffering other types of trauma as well. The best guess at this point is that the drugs actually curb the body’s immune response which prevents health brain tissue from being destroyed. This limits the brain damage to the already harmed areas. On top of that, there is a chance that the statins may block chemical byproducts and extra white blood cells from crossing over the blood-brain barrier.
Whatever the case may be, our Illinois brain injury attorneys welcome the news of advances that may improve the lives of those suffering from these injuries. We have worked with many residents, young and old alike, who have suffered an Illinois brain injury. Many families have their lives turned upside down by these preventable tragedies and it is important to ensure that they strike as rarely as possible.
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