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Brain injury study debunks potential treatment; researchers disappointed

A hotly anticipated study into a possible remedy for traumatic brain injury has turned up nothing, leaving some of the country's most prominent brain experts bitterly disappointed.

The study examined 1,213 patients from eight trauma centers across the country (we aren't certain if any of those trauma centers were in Connecticut). The research subjects had traumatic brain injuries ranging in severity from mild to extreme.

At issue was whether the supplement citicoline, which is rumored to boost memory, could improve cognitive functioning if administered in high-enough doses.

The U.S. Army in particular had been hoping that it would, because so many soldiers return home from Iraq and Afghanistan with bad brain injuries. Each year, about 1 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries and some 53,000 people die from them.

Unfortunately, the researchers found literally no difference between citicoline and a placebo. There was some improvement in memory, but researchers said that was present no matter whether the subject was taking citicoline or the placebo. They attributed the improvement to the normal healing process and nothing more.

The reason we mention this story is that many of our clients have suffered traumatic brain injuries. We understand just how devastating these injuries can be, so we welcome any news of a possible treatment. It is unfortunate that citicoline isn't the remedy people had been hoping it was, but it is important that we not get discouraged or give up.

Source: The Connecticut Post, "Big disappointment in brain injury treatment study," Lindsey Tanner, Nov. 20, 2012

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