A new cellular therapy clinical trial for traumatic brain injury indicates that using a patient’s individual stem cells can actually dampen the neuro-inflammatory response to trauma within the brain and can even assist with preserving brain tissue. These details were reported in the journal STEM Cells. As any accident survivor knows, it’s not always easy to find a TBI treatment that helps patients effectively.

The project was recently awarded $6.8 million for funding from the United States Department of Defense in order to determine its long term implications. The Centers for Disease Control shows that 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury every year; 52,000 of those individuals die and a further 275,000 are hospitalized. TBIs are a contributing factor to one third of all injury related deaths across the United States. There are few current therapies used to treat TBIs effectively.

Critical care teams work hard in order to stabilize a patient as quickly as possible and in some situations, surgery is even necessary to remove tissue or damaged blood vessels or repair as well as to provide relief to the patient from swelling. The research team has been looking at cell therapy for neurological disease in clinical trials and pre-clinical trials for more than 20 years. The new study was founded on previously published research showing that stem cell therapy after a TBI reduces the intensity requirements of neuro critical care. 25 different patients were used to arrive at this result. Unfortunately, car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and they can have implications for a patient for many years to come. Someone who has been hurt in a vehicle accident and has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury may have years of extensive and costly medical treatment ahead of them.