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New drug may offer traumatic brain injury breakthrough

Pennsylvania residents could be surprised to learn that traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death and debilitating disability for Americans under the age of 45. This type of injury can be difficult to diagnose and treatment options are limited, but University of Miami researchers have achieved impressive research using an enzyme inhibitor developed to treat brain-related conditions like schizophrenia and depression.

The drug, which was developed by the Boston-based biotech company Tetra Discovery, inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase 4, and the researchers found that it was able to improve both memory and learning in tests conducted on animals. Tests performed on individuals who have suffered a serious head injury often discover reduced amounts of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, and the researchers believe that the enzyme inhibitor could help to maintain cAMP levels and prevent further harm.

While research looking into the effectiveness of phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors as a treatment for people with brain injuries is not new, serious side effects like diarrhea, headaches and severe sickness have been a persistent challenge. However, the University of Miami team have witnessed significant improvements in the brain function of laboratory animals with none of the usual drawbacks. The results of the team's work were published in the Journal of Neuroscience in July 2016.

Seeking compensation for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligent or reckless actions of others can sometimes be a challenge for personal injury attorneys. Individuals who suffer from mood swings, headaches and depression often look completely healthy to the untrained eye, and attorneys may seek out neurologists or other experts to explain to juries just how difficult it can be to cope with a brain injury on a daily basis.

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