Simple polymer can help lessen brain injury

June 30th, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 30 (IANS) A simple polymer, mixed with sterile water and injected into the body, can help reduce brain injury caused by blunt force. Andrew Koob and Richard Borgens of Purdue University found that rats injected with PEG, or Polyethylene glycol, limited brain damage, if administered within four hours of the injury.

However, if treatment was delayed for a two more hours, the beneficial effects were lost. During the experiments, rats were injured with a falling weight and then PEG was administered fifteen minutes, two hours, four hours or six hours later.

The authors then carried out a series of behavioural tests on the rats to determine the effectiveness of the PEG treatment, reports sciencedaily.

According to Borgens: “These data suggest that PEG may be clinically useful to victims of traumatic brain injury if delivered as rapidly as possible after an injury.”

Such a treatment could feasibly be carried out at the scene of an accident where PEG could be delivered as a component of IV fluids thus reducing long term brain injury.

The finding has appeared in BioMed Central’s Journal of Biological Engineering.

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