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Can Progesterone Treatment Improve Outcomes Following Brain Injury?

In adult patients with acute traumatic brain injury (TBI), progesterone treatment may improve outcomes -- especially in cases of moderate injury -- according to a report in the April issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

However, the results of this study really send a mixed message about the protective effects of Progesterone.  Progesterone patients remained in coma longer than control patients, the report indicates, but fewer patients in the progesterone group (10/77, 13%) died within 30 days of injury compared with the control group (7/23 patients, 30.4%).

The reduction in mortality associated with progesterone was most prominent among patients with more severe brain injury (as measured by their Glasgow Coma Scale score), the investigators say.

On the other hand, at 30 days, survivors of severe traumatic brain injury who had received placebo were slightly less disabled than those who had received progesterone, the report indicates, but those with moderate traumatic brain injury who had received progesterone were significantly less disabled than those who had received placebo.

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