Pulling the Plug on Brain Injury: Manipulating Fluid Flows Could Save Lives, Improve Recovery

(MedicalXpress) – Cerebral edema, the dangerous brain swelling that occurs after traumatic brain injury (TBI), can increase risk of death 10-fold and significantly worsen prospects for recovery in brain function.

In extreme cases, surgeons will remove a portion of the skull to relieve pressure, but this has significant risks and is not viable for the vast majority of TBI cases.

Physicians have very few tools at their disposal that are effective in treating cerebral edema, which is one of the leading causes of in-hospital deaths, and is associated with long-term neurological disability.

New research appearing in the journal Nature could change all that, showing that a cocktail of drugs already approved to treat high blood pressure quickly reduces brain swelling and improves outcomes in animal models of brain injury. CONTINUE