Drug Reduces Aggressive Behavior in TBI Survivors
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
Emotional changes after traumatic brain injury (TBI) affect quality of life for survivors and are difficult to treat. Aggressive behavior often adversely impacts family and friends. The drug Amantadine, an antiviral no longer commonly used, was found to reduce aggressive behavior in TBI survivors.
The discovery was made by Dr. Flora Hammond, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Indiana University School of Medicine and reported in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Amantadine was on Dr. Hammond’s radar because it was found to improve cognition in patients with Parkinson’s Disease who were taking the drug as therapy for the flu virus.
After other drugs failed on a colleague who was found to have a minor brain injury, Dr. Hammond tried Amantadine. Dr. Hammond’s colleague said, “The effects were immediate and just amazing. … It calms down part of your brain and gives you a moment to pause and reflect.” Dr. Hammond has used Amantadine on other patients with success. She says, “It helps you reclaim your identity a bit. … And to get that back helps you get your quality of life back too.” (Full story)
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