[T]raumatic brain injury can be permanent. There are no drugs to reverse the cognitive decline and memory loss, and any surgical interventions must be carried out within hours to be effective…But a compound previously used to enhance memory in mice may offer hope: Rodents who took it up to a month after a concussion had memory capabilities similar to those that had never been injured.
In 2013, the lab of Peter Walter, a biochemist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), discovered a compound—called ISRIB—that blocked the stress response in human cells in a dish…Walter teamed up with UCSF neuroscientist Susanna Rosi to study mouse models of traumatic brain injury [and] wondered whether administering ISRIB would help.
[When confronted with a maze,] healthy mice got better with practice, but the injured ones didn’t improve. However, when the injured mice were given ISRIB 3 days in a row, they were able to solve the maze just as quickly as healthy mice up to a week later….
If the therapy translates to humans, it could be a boon for soldiers returning from war, who sometimes wait weeks between leaving the battlefield and arriving home for treatment.
[Read the full study here]
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