Flu medicine is found to be helpful for severe brain injury; Research

Brain injuryResearchers have reported that amantadine, a flu drug, is effective in healing the brain injury.

This research has been published online in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers have found that seriously injured patients showed rapid recovery after taking amantadine. They showed rapid improvement as compared to those patients who were given placebo. Researchers have discovered that after four weeks of flu drug usage, patients were better able to follow commands, use a spoon or hairbrush and say reliable yes or no. Very few patients remained in “vegetative state” after taking amantadine i.e. 17% vs 32%.

[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /] Almost 1.7 million people suffer a serious type of brain injury due to accidents, such as car crashes or getting hit by an object, in America annually. It is the most common cause of death in persons in the age range of 15-30 years.

Although, many doctors started using the drug for brain injuries but this study is the first one on large scale. Researchers have reported,

Our findings are consistent with observational reports suggesting the acceleration of recovery in patients who are receiving amantadine and the deceleration or loss of function after treatment is discontinued.

Experts are of the opinion that some questions are still unsolved such as whether amantadine is equally helpful to less severely injured patients or not and whether it will show long lasting beneficial effects on the patients or not. For future studies, researchers have reported,

Future research should focus on determining the pathophysiological characteristics of patients who have a response to amantadine, the most effective dosage and duration of treatment and timing of its initiation, and the effectiveness of amantadine in patients with nontraumatic brain injuries.


Joseph T. Giacino, Ph.D., John Whyte, M.D., Ph.D., Emilia Bagiella, Ph.D., Kathleen Kalmar, Ph.D., Nancy Childs, M.D., Allen Khademi, M.D., Bernd Eifert, M.D., David Long, M.D., Douglas I. Katz, M.D., Sooja Cho, M.D., Stuart A. Yablon, M.D., Marianne Luther, M.D., Flora M. Hammond, M.D., Annette Nordenbo, M.D., Paul Novak, O.T.R., Walt Mercer, Ph.D., Petra Maurer-Karattup, Dr.Rer.Nat., and Mark Sherer, Ph.D., (2012). Placebo-Controlled Trial of Amantadine for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. The New England Journal of Medicine. 366, 819-826


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