Diabetes Drug for Brain Injury Discovery

On June 24, 2012 it was reported that a new diabetes drug-called Exendin-4 which has been approved by the FDA significantly minimizes damage in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in laboratory animals. The project was commissioned by  the U.S. Air Force. The principal researchers are Prof. Chaim Pick of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Niguel Greig of the U. S. National Institute of Aging.

Although the death toll in people who suffer from TBI is relatively low, it can have severe, lifelong consequences for brain function. As a result of TBI a patient can have impaired mental abilities and dramatic personality changes. This aside from the high financial cost of treatment.

Originally Exendin-4 was designed to control sugar levels in the body but it has shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and it was found that if administered shortly after the original incident it can minmize damage in TBI. Together with collaborators, Dr. Vardit Rubovitch, Lital Rachmany-Raber and Prof. Shaul Schreiber and Dr. David Tweedie of the U.S. Institute the study and results have been published in the journal Experimental Neurology.

The research has been going on for several years and consisted of the effects of injuries when hitting the windshield in a car accident as well as work for the U.S. military in relation to trauma sustained when someone is exposed to an explosion or terrorist attack. In the experiments it was shown that mice that were exposed to blasts but that received Exendin-4 had significant reduction of brain damage caused by the explosion. An improved outcome  was also associated when the mice sustained TBI by blunt force if given the drug . The plan now is to find the right dosage and delivery system and to find other drugs to complement Exendin-4 to increase its efficiency.

TBI can have debilitating effects on limb movement and when that occurs the best physical therapy solutions are needed to provide exercises for the patient. The most cost effective physical therapy poducts are incorporated into  the TUTOR system. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are comfortable ergonomically designed gloves and braces that are placed on strategic locations of the body. They have position and speed sensors that precisely record finger and wrist movement. Rehabilitation games allow the patient to exercise range of motion, speed and accuracy of movement including opposition and pinch movement practice. The software gives the physical therapist objective and quantitative information which then allows an exclusive exercise treatment plan to be designed.

The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are also used by patients that have impaired limb mobility due to stroke, Parkinson’s, CP,MS, spinal cord injury and other upper and lower surgeries. Currently in use in leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics the TUTOR system is FDA and CE certified and is available for children as well as adults. The patient is also able to use the TUTORs from home, if necessary, through the use of telerehabilitation. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.


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