Diabetes Drug Metformin May Help Regrow Brain Cells

July 11, 2012

A well known diabetes drug, Metformin, may prove useful to patients that have suffered a traumatic brain injury as it seems to help stimulate the growth of new neurons in the brain.

Death of Brain Cells

Typically, brain cells at the point of impact of a traumatic brain injury die and as they die they release toxic substances that cause the brain to swell. As we have discussed in previous posts, many patients die of brain swelling after suffering a traumatic brain injury. As the brain swells inside the confines of the skull, the veins and arteries that bring oxygen are constricted and the vital flow of oxygen stops. This lack of oxygen causes more brain cells to die. And, as the cells die, they decompose and release the chemicals that cause the brain to swell further. If doctors don't stop to this vicious circle, the patient dies.

In a recent post we talked about researchers from Emory University in Atlanta and the National Institutes of Health teaming up to test whether the reproductive hormone progesterone can help enhance the memory of patients. Donald Stein, a Neuroscientist and professor of emergency medicine at Emory University, he remembered how years ago, while performing research with female lab rats with brain injuries, their memory was enhanced by an excess of progesterone when they where pregnant. In addition, progesterone has had other positive effects on brain injuries: it reduces the swelling that causes more cells to die.

Regenerate Brain Cells

Traditionally, scientists have been trying to find ways to replace the damaged brain cells by introducing stem cells, which are capable of regenerating brain cells. Yet, such is a complicated process that is not always successful. Now Metformin, a well known drug used to control of blood sugar levels in diabetics, is showing promise by encouraging the growth of new cells from existing neural cells. According to sciencedaily.com, scientists already knew that Metformin had a similar effect on liver cells, so they thought that maybe the medication could help encourage the regeneration of brain cells on mice and on patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

Moreover, Metformin has been found to make mice smarter and there is some early evidence that it may have cognitive benefits for patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Unfortunately, all these new treatments for patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries are not cheap, which is why victims that have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another's negligent actions need the help of an experienced lawyer to recover the funds they need to pay for their rehabilitation and ongoing medical and personal needs.

The Lawyers Of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. Can Help

With more than 67 years of combined experience, the lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. are ready to help victims that have suffered any kind of traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident recover the funds they need for their rehabilitation. Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Traumatic Brain Injury Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have represented many clients that have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident, a truck accident, an amusement park accident or as a result of any other kind of accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.