Oestrogen Hormone Reveals Protective Ability After Traumatic Brain Injury

With more than 1.7 million people sustaining a traumatic brain injury each year, the need to identify processes to limit inflammation and subsequent damage is critical. Approximately 275,000 people are hospitalised annually with traumatic brain injury, leaving 85,000 with long-term disabilities and taking the lives of more than 50,000. More than 5 million people live with disabilities caused by traumatic brain injuries, often the result of car accidents and falls. Direct and indirect costs exceed $75 billion. In a new study, Dr. Joshua Gatson, Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, investigated biomarkers and novel therapies for traumatic brain injury. His previous work has shown that oestrone, one of the three naturally occurring oestrogen hormones in the body, has shown some promise in reducing inflammation and cell death in the brain. His latest study is the first to demonstrate oestrone provides those anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities after traumatic brain injury. It is likewise the first to reveal the cellular pathways that are involved. His findings were presented 22 April 2012 during Experimental Biology 2012 in San Diego. During the study conducted in male rats, the researchers compared 0.5 mg of oestrone to a placebo, both given 30 minutes after the injury. It demonstrated that oestrone is involved in promoting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes cell survival. “BDNF, one of the main growth factors that regulates repair following injury, is actually increased following treatment with oestrone after brain injury,” said Gatson, who administered the injections within 30 minutes of the injury. “So if you give this drug shortly after injury, it is thought to increase repair mechanisms.” Most research involving protective capabilities of oestrogen have focused instead on estradiol, one of the other two types of oestrogen hormones, Dr. Gatson noted, so this finding indicates a fresh avenue for future study,

Science Daily, 22 April 2012 ;http://www.sciencedaily.com ;