A breakthrough in Brain Trauma treatment?

By Maria Kyriacou

Image: Thinkstock
Image: Thinkstock
Ex-Green Beret makes it his mission to help fellow soldiers by funding new research for Traumatic Brain Injury

New research could provide the answers needed to help people with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), also known as (Acquired Brain Injury).

Over 600,000 Australians have a TBI while over 90 New Zealanders sustain an brain injury on a daily basis – it could be as easy as slipping in the bath. Many others sustain injuries as a result of violence or in their line of work.

Andrew Marr’s army career was cut short after he suffered multiple traumatic injuries (TBI), just like more than 330,000 other ex-military members. Rather than sit back and complain, Marr decided to work towards improving his lot and that of his fellow soldiers.

Marr credits Dr. Mark Gordon, an interventional endocrinologist and traumatic brain injury treatment specialist, with his recovery.

Together they are working on a campaign that is raising much-needed funds for natural hormone replacement therapy. He is adamant that this kind of therapy helped him recover more than any other prescribed medications.

“Head trauma often times produces a disruption in your hormonal balance,” said Marr. “If you can pinpoint which hormones are affected and which are insufficient or deficient you can address the problem.”

The research is taking place at Millennium Health Centres in Los Angeles, looking at trauma to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which leads patients to experience adrenal insufficiencies. Adrenal insufficiency can result in a kind of diabetes, low blood pressure and weight loss.

TBI also results in hyponatremia for some sufferers, leading to symptoms including headaches, fatigue, convulsions, confusion and vomiting.

The programme involves identifying hormone deficiencies in soldiers and then offering an individualised plan of care.

Marr’s the Warrior Angels Foundation, currently has 15 patients enrolled and Dr. Gordon has trained 42 physicians to treat the patients. The program was fully launched on September 11, as a means of commemorating fallen soldiers and other victims of terrorism.

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