WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017 – The harsh reality of traumatic brain injury touches an estimated two million people in America every year. This translates to one person impacted every 21 seconds. The University of California (UCSF) reports that help is on the way due to a new drug that could improve the ability of brain-injured individuals to reverse memory loss.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of long-term neurological disability and affects an ever-growing population. For individuals and families that have to deal with the daily impairments that brain injuries can have on loved one this may be the long-sought cure to bring relief. According to a recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at UCSF have used an experimental drug on mice to help reverse impairments that result from traumatic brain injury. The results look very promising.
In fact, the drug ISRIB, has resulted in enhancement of normal mice memories and researchers have found a corresponding improvement in the ability of brain-injured mice to learn and to form memories on memory tests.
According to UCSF
“Surprisingly, the drug fully restored the ability to learn and remember in the brain-injured mice even when the animals were first treated as much as a month after injury. The latter results are particularly striking, as most research on brain injury and stroke has suggested that treatments must be initiated as quickly as possible to preserve normal function.”
This scientific breakthrough can be a godsend for millions of brain-injured people.
Imagine how those who have realized a degrading of their learning and memory abilities now having the opportunity to regain and possibly even improve those faculties. Peter Walter PhD is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and co-senior author of the new study.
He is excited about the medical possibilities for improving brained injured patients.
Professor Walter stated,
“This is extraordinarily exciting. We think that ISRIB may uncover an untapped reservoir in the brain that allows damaged memory circuits to be repaired,” reported USCF.
The test results are in no small way astounding. ISRIB’s continued impact on the brain-injured mice was amazing. The researchers are concluding that the drug may actually induce some durable long-term change in the brain.
Susanna Rosi, PhD professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation sciences and of neurological surgery at UCSF, agrees.
“ISRIB’s half-life is less than a day, and when the mice demonstrated intact memory ability a week after receiving it, we know there is only the most miniscule trace of the drug left in their bodies.”
The study reported that researchers found that of the two tests, consisting of a radial-arm water maze and a modified Barnes maze brain-injured mice without the ISRIB drug performed poorly. Yet, when the mice received, four daily ISRIB injections beginning two weeks after injury, the brain-injured mice again performed as well as their normal counterparts.
Even if human testing of the ISRIB drug is a few years away, the possibility of restoring lost memories for individuals who have suffered brain injuries is promising. Imagine the relief a successful ISRIB drug would have on the lives of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Professor Rosi remains positive.
“We need to do much more research,” Rosi said, “but I have high hopes that this drug can bring back lost memory capacity to our patients who have suffered brain injuries,” according to UCSF.