PI: Neal G. Simon
Co-PI(s): Hannah Dailey
University: Lehigh University
Effective drug treatments for moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are a major unmet medical need. In the United States alone, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year. Massive costs are associated with these injuries--52,000 deaths, 275,000 hospitalizations, and some 1.4 million individuals treated and released from emergency departments, with an annual economic burden estimated at $76.5 billion. TBI is a contributing factor to a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States. Among military personnel, there are over 30,000 medically-diagnosed cases of TBI annually.
In the proposed project, a collaborative effort between Lehigh University and Azevan Pharmaceuticals, we will build on strongly positive initial findings generated with FY17 PITA support to further demonstrate the feasibility of a novel pharmacotherapeutic approach to the treatment of TBI. These promising data provide the initial demonstration that selective vasopressin receptor antagonism eliminates or significantly reduces the cognitive deficits, motor problems, cerebral edema, and altered connectivity within the brain that are defining features of TBI. The project is expected to generate results that can lead to additional sources of funding that support continued collaboration directed toward addressing this significant public health need.