Amantadine Shown to Speed Recovery From Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted on Mar 07, 2012

New studies have shown that a drug used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease also speeds recovery from severe traumatic brain injuries. The drug, Amantadine, helps boost dopamine levels, which is a neurotransmitter linked to arousal. For patients who are in a vegetative state after a traumatic brain injury, this drug can help by improving responsiveness during rehabilitation.
Joseph Giacino, the director of rehabilitation neuropsychology at Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital says the drug helps patients be able to communicate faster. Giacino and his colleagues followed 184 patients with "consciousness disorders" after a traumatic brain injury. 87 patients received amantadine for four weeks during their impatient rehab and the rest received a placebo. The results showed that over the course of the four weeks, the group given Amantadine outpaced the other group in their rates of improvement. They were ranked less-disabled as compared to the patients that received the placebo. The patients that received the drug were also more likely to rapidly regain cognitive mediated behaviors which are the basis for functional independence.
Unfortunately the drugs benefits are not permanent and a few weeks after the study ended the benefits began to wear off in the patients. This study did however open the door to test the drug more extensively with other forms of traumatic brain injury like strokes, aneurysms, and oxygen deprivation. This study has helped pave the way for tests to be done across various traumatic brain injury conditions.
If you are in need of a Myrtle Beach SC traumatic brain injury attorney, Conway lawyer Dirk Derrick at the The Derrick Law Firm has been handling traumatic brain injury cases in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Conway SC for over 23 years. Please call 843-248-7486 today.

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