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Testing A New Drug For Traumatic Brain Injury 8

Doctors across the country will be trying out a new treatment for traumatic brain injury. UT Southwestern, the National Institutes of Health and other partners announced today that they’ll study a new drug that could help stop bleeding in the brain.

The KERA radio story.

Traumatic brain injuries can happen to anyone – a kid playing football, someone who slips and falls, a driver in a car crash. Over the past decade, the rate of emergency department visits for those injuries surged by 70 percent. But doctors like Ahamed Idris say treatment is still limited.

“There have been no new medications for traumatic brain injury for the last thirty years,” Idris says. He’s professor of emergency medicine and internal medicine at UT Southwestern and principal investigator for the trial of a drug called Tranexamic Acid, or TXA.

“The study we will be kicking off,” he says, “involves paramedics in the field giving TXA as early as possible after injury.”

Idris says the drug helps stabilize blood clots that are formed to stop bleeding in the brain. While some studies have shown it’s helpful for people with acute trauma, none have been large enough to offer definitive results. Idris says four emergency medical services and seven trauma centers across Dallas-Fort Worth will participate in the new study, which is expected to take a year to complete.