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Mood disorder and cancer drug may prevent brain cell damage after a traumatic brain injury

A new Rutgers research study claims that a lithium, a drug used to treat mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder and a cancer medication, rapamycin can protect brain cells from further damage following a traumatic brain injury.

Following trauma, damage to nerve cells within the brain occurs at the time of initial injury and continues long after as a result of the damaged nerve cells releasing chemicals.   These chemicals may impeded brain signals being passed from one cell to the next.  

This discovery is important because it focuses on protecting the brain from further damage following the original injury.

According to published reports, “In the Rutgers research, scientists discovered that when these two FDA-approved medications were added to damaged cell cultures in the laboratory, the glutamate was not able to send messages between nerve cells. This stopped cell damage and death.”

The full article is: Role of Akt-independent mTORC1 and GSK3β signaling in sublethal NMDA-induced injury and the recovery of neuronal electrophysiology and survival. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7

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