An inexpensive and accessible drug was found to reduce rates of mortality associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients by 20%. TBI is a major cause of death and disability worldwide however, the effectiveness of the drug, known as tranexamic acid (TXA), is highly dependent on depending on the severity of the head injury. The findings of the study were published in The Lancet and explains how TXA can block the bleeding into the brain by stopping the breakdown of the blood clot and saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
Learn more about the clinical trial, CRASH-3 (Clinical Randomisation of an Antifbrinolytic in Significant Head Injury), involving TXA:
“We already know that rapid administration of tranexamic acid can save lives in patients with life threatening bleeding in the chest or abdomen such as we often see in victims of traffic crashes, shootings or stabbings. This hugely exciting new result shows that early treatment with TXA also cuts deaths from head injury. It’s an important breakthrough and the first neuroprotective drug for patients with head injury,” states Ian Roberts, Professor of Clinical Trials at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who co-led the study.
“Traumatic brain injury can happen to anyone at any time, whether it’s through an incident like a car crash or simply falling down the stairs. We believe that if our findings are widely implemented they will boost the chances of people surviving head injuries in both high income and low income countries around the world.”
A common complication of TBI is bleeding in the brain as a result of tearing in the blood vessels. Early treatment with TXA is critical to prevent the severity of bleeding—but, still cannot undo the overall damage to the brain and head regions.
CT scan observing an enlarging epidural. (Image Credit: LSHTM.AC.UK)
“This is a landmark study. After decades of research and many unsuccessful attempts, this is the first ever clinical trial to show that a drug can reduce mortality after traumatic brain injury. Not only do we think this could save hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide, but it will no doubt renew the enthusiasm for drug discovery research for this devastating condition,” says Dr. Antoni Belli, a neurosurgeon and Professor of Trauma Neurosurgery at the University of Birmingham.
Watch this video below to learn more about the possibility of having TXA as a treatment measure to reduce death associated with head injuries:
“Treating traumatic brain injury is extremely challenging with very few treatment options available for patients. Thanks to these latest results, which are applicable to patients with head injuries of any cause and of all demographics, clinicians now have a potentially powerful new treatment available to them,” says Dr. Ben Bloom, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust.