Progesterone Ineffective as Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury | Ellis Injury Law

Progesterone Ineffective as Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury

January 16, 2015

Ellis Law Corporation


The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Ellis Law have recently learned that two published studies to determine that benefits of progesterone in treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) did not produce encouraging results. The news is disappointing to those suffering from TBI, since no other drug treatment options currently exist for this condition.

Results of the studies were published in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The studies were conducted after multiple animal studies and early-phase, single-center trials on humans suggested administration of progesterone improved outcomes for patients suffering from TBI. Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced by the human body that plays an important role in reproductive function.

Two studies, similar results

The first study was called ProTECT III (Progesterone for the Traumatic Brain Injury, Experimental Clinical Treatment). Researchers administered progesterone or a placebo to nearly 900 patients within four hours of suffering a TBI. Progesterone was given for a total of 96 hours, in addition to medical care typically administered after a TBI. The study was stopped early after some test subjects developed phlebitis and the development of blood clots – a known risk of progesterone. No benefits were seen between the patients given progesterone and those given a placebo.

The second study, titled SYNAPSE (The Study of a Neuroprotective Agent, Progesterone, in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury), showed similar results. Researchers treated nearly 1,200 patients with either progesterone or a placebo within eight hours of the TBI. All of the test subjects, age 16-70, had at least one reactive pupil and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of eight or lower.

The group receiving progesterone received a favorable outcome of 50.4 percent, while the placebo group had a favorable outcome of 50.5 percent. Mortality rates were also similar between the two groups, indicating progesterone may not offer any real benefit when administered to brain injury patients. These findings were particularly troublesome to researchers who hoped to find a way to lower mortality rates for TBI patients that were three times more likely to face premature death than those without a TBI.

About traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury is a serious medical condition that can impact the patient and family throughout a lifetime. Common causes of TBI in Los Angeles include falling, motor vehicle accidents, getting struck by an object or being the victim of an assault. Injuries can range from mild to severe, with even mild TBIs sometime creating a lifetime of cognitive issues. People suffering severe brain injuries may face up to 10 years of intensive treatment and rehabilitation, with no promise they will ever be able to work and earn a living in the future.

Traumatic brain injury has no effective “cure” and there are few – if any – medical treatments to alleviate the damage and help a person recovery. The emotional, physical and financial toll taken on the patient and the entire family can be life-changing. If the brain injury occurred due to the fault or negligence of another, the results can be that much more difficult.

The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Ellis Law understand the toll a TBI can take on California victims and their families. Our experienced legal team is ready to go to work for you, helping you pursue every bit of legal compensation you might be entitled to. We offer free case reviews and do not collect any legal fees until you win or settle your case. To get the legal help you need after a TBI, contact the Ellis Law team at 310-641-3335 today.