By Carol Petersen, RPH, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an area that has received little clinical attention—until now.
The staggering number of soldiers returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with head injuries caused by improvised explosive devices prompted medical researchers and practitioners to review the literature for anything that would help these veterans recover. A 2010 update to a literature review in Future Neurology notes that there are literally hundreds of studies regarding the “neuroprotective” effects of progesterone and its metabolites, with most of these studies being published in the last few years. In particular, two clinical trials demonstrated the effectiveness of using progesterone to successfully treat patients with moderate-to-severe head injury, resulting in sparing the lives of about 50% of those treated. This revelation provided a ray of hope for both practitioners and veterans.
When you factor in the many others suffering from lingering brain injuries, the picture gets much bigger. Each year, approximately...