Molecular Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 11–12, pp 731–740 | Cite as

Pharmacology of Traumatic Brain Injury: Where Is the “Golden Bullet”?

  • Kathryn Beauchamp
  • Haitham Mutlak
  • Wade R. Smith
  • Esther Shohami
  • Philip F. Stahel
Review Article


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a major health care problem and a significant socioeconomic challenge worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately 1.5 million patients are affected each year, and the mortality of severe TBI remains as high as 35%–40%. These statistics underline the urgent need for efficient treatment modalities to improve posttraumatic morbidity and mortality. Despite advances in basic and clinical research as well as improved neurological intensive care in recent years, no specific pharmacological therapy for TBI is available that would improve the outcome of these patients. Understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiological events after TBI has resulted in the identification of new potential therapeutic targets. Nevertheless, the extrapolation from basic research data to clinical application in TBI patients has invariably failed, and results from prospective clinical trials are disappointing. We review the published prospective clinical trials on pharmacological treatment modalities for TBI patients and outline future promising therapeutic avenues in the field.


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Copyright information

© Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn Beauchamp
    • 1
  • Haitham Mutlak
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wade R. Smith
    • 4
  • Esther Shohami
    • 5
  • Philip F. Stahel
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Denver Health Medical CenterUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineDenverUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital GrosshadernLudwigs Maximilian University of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesiology, Clinical Research and DevelopmentUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Denver Health Medical CenterUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineDenverUSA
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology, School of PharmacyThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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