Emerging pharmacological agents to improve survival from traumatic brain injury

John J. Radosevich, Asad E. Patanwala, Brian L. Erstad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To review emerging pharmacological agents for the treatment of traumatic brain injury with regard to survival outcomes and provide recommendations regarding their use. Methods: An Ovid MEDLINE (up to May 2013) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (up to May 2013) search was conducted to identify emerging pharmacological therapies for the treatment of traumatic brain injury. The search was limited to English language and humans. Pharmacological agents that were evaluated with respect to survival as an outcome were included. Main results: Based on the search, the investigators identified the following new therapies: beta-receptor antagonists, erythropoiesis stimulating agents, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) and progesterone. With the exception of progesterone, which was studied in several small, randomized, controlled trials, the remaining agents were primarily studied in observational retrospective cohorts. For each of the agents identified, a potential increase in survival was noted. Conclusions: Emerging pharmacological agents represent promising treatment options for traumatic brain injury to improve survival. Most of these agents are commercially available for other indications. However, limitations in study design, sample size, duration of treatment, timing of treatment and inclusion of heterogeneous patient populations make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions from the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1492-1499
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - 2013


  • Adrenergic beta-antagonists
  • Brain injuries
  • Erythropoiesis stimulating agent
  • Erythropoietin
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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