Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death globally, but medications have generally failed to benefit patients. A new study found that memantine, a drug that is used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, may be a promising therapy.
The study examined the effect of memantine on blood levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), a marker of neuronal damage, and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in patients with moderate TBI. The GCS is the most common scoring system used to describe the level of consciousness in a person following a TBI.
Patients with moderate TBI who received memantine had significantly reduced blood levels of NSE by day 7 and marked improvements in their GCS scores on day 3 of the study.