According to a Nov. 21 report in The Associated Press, the supplement, citicoline, has been used to treat those who had suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of car crashes, falls, sports injuries and war injuries.
The prospect of a new and more effective brain injury treatment has suffered a major disappointment after a highly publicized study found no benefits from citicoline, a supplement that the U.S. military had expected to help wounded troops, according to a Nov. 21 Associated Press report. The supplement is marketed online and in stores as a memory booster and is widely used in several countries to treat traumatic brain injuries and strokes. Doctors in the United States and other countries had hoped to increase the doses to hasten recovery in patients with brain injuries from car accidents, falls and sports-related accidents, the AP article said.
However, a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that citicoline worked no better than dummy treatments when it came to reducing brain-injury induced memory issues, attention problems and difficulty concentrating. Researchers studied 1,213 patients 18 years and older who had been hospitalized at eight trauma centers nationwide with mild to severe traumatic brain injuries, according to the report.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 1.7 million traumatic brain injury-related deaths, hospitalizations and emergency department visits nationwide each year. About 80 percent of these individuals are treated and released from an emergency department. CDC states that traumatic brain injuries are a contributing factor to about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States.
The JAMA announcement is definitely a huge blow for brain injury victims and their families who in most cases suffer physically, emotionally and financially, said New York personal injury lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm. "The findings of the study is indeed disappointing to hundreds of thousands of victims, especially our wounded soldiers, who were counting on this supplement to put them on the road to recovery."
Treating brain injuries and rehabilitating victims can be extremely costly, he said. "Having represented brain injury victims, we see first-hand, the severe impact it has on victims and their loved ones. The effects of brain injuries often last a lifetime leaving victims with permanent disabilities. I trust the research in this area will continue so these patients and their families have a renewed sense of hope in terms of recovery."
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