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"Experimental Drug Relieves Blast-Related PTSD In A Rat Model Of Traumatic Brain Injury" - Viviane Callier

  • The Scientist
  • New York, NY
  • (February 02, 2018)

People who experience blast-related trauma to the brain, a condition that has become more and more common among combat veterans, can later experience depression and heightened anxiety, even in the absence of a psychological stressor. In search of a more-effective drug, researchers have found that a compound that blocks certain glutamate receptors in the brain reverses many of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like symptoms that appear after rats endure a blast injury. Returning veterans often exhibit long-lasting behavioral symptoms, but there is "controversy over how much of this is TBI and how much is PTSD," said senior author, Gregory A. Elder, MD, research professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. While PTSD is a psychologically based reaction to a stressor that isn't necessarily associated with a physical injury, TBI is a physical injury to the brain, he explained. As Dr. Elder was exploring TBI with this rat model, his colleague, Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was investigating Alzheimer's disease in a different rat model. Dr. Gandy found that a compound called BCI-838 improved memory and reduced anxiety in these animals. As Dr. Elder and his team are now working to understand how the drug affects the pathophysiology in the brain after blast injury, Dr. Gandy is pursuing human clinical trials of BCI-838 among combat vets.

  • Gregory A. Elder, MD, Research Professor, Psychiatry, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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