A Houston research team has uncovered a possible treatment for severe brain injuries that could dramatically improve the outlook for tens of thousands of trauma patients - from those injured on Houston highways, to soldiers wounded on faraway battlefields.
About 275,000 people across the country each year are wheeled into emergency rooms with severe traumatic brain injuries; about a fourth don\'t survive. Those who do often suffer permanent disabilities, in part because swelling in the brain in the days and weeks after the injury cuts off blood flow, killing neurons.
In a new clinical trial conducted at Memorial Hermann Hospital, researchers from UTHealth have shown it\'s possible to reduce brain inflammation by harvesting stem cells from a trauma patient\'s bone marrow and re-infusing them into the bloodstream within 48 hours of injury. The results are promising, said Dr. Charles Cox, who\'s been working on the experimental treatment for more than 15 years.