My laboratory is interested in the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular, traumatic brain injury (TBI).
TBI now is recognized as a major public health problem, yet there are no treatments
for TBI. Two major reasons why drugs have failed clinical trials is that TBI produces
a heterogeneous injury and mild TBI is the most common head injury and patients with
mild TBI often do not seek medical help for days after injury. An effective drug to
treat TBI needs high potency when dosed days after injury. The drug combination, minocycline
plus N-acetylcysteine repairs both injury to white matter when first dosed at 12 hours
post-injury and limits gray matter injury when first dosed at 72 hours. The drugs
modulate inflammation, restores memory and limits neuronal loss. Both drugs have FDA-approval
for uses other than TBI suggesting that the combination is both safe as well as effective.