For the past several years, studies have been conducted to gauge the effect of using bioidentical progesterone on patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (fall, car accident, other causes.) Naturally, as someone who takes bioidentical progesterone herself and has seen a significant increase in my cognitive function, I have taken interest in these studies. It is my hope that someday progesterone therapy will be a mainstream medicine standard for treating traumatic brain injuries.
One of the important facets of this treatment protocol is using the progesterone as soon as possible after the brain injury to minimize the damage. This, of course, presents a challenge to healthcare practitioners, because consent for treatment, particularly in clinical trials, is vital. I was in an experimental medical protocol trial once, many years ago, and it was related to a medication that may or may not (never knew if I received the medication being studied or a placebo) have been administered during a reconstructive knee surgery. I remember that the medication being studied was supposed to help relieve nausea post surgery, and that pre-operatively I had to sign a boatload of consent forms. For the record, I was wildly sick to my stomach for 24 hours after the surgery.
Because patients with TBI are often unable to consent to participating in a clinical trial because they are incapacitated or unconscious, obtaining consent is often difficult to impossible. The Boston Globe has an article on their website detailing the dilemma of getting consent for the progesterone and TBI study being conducted at Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. I hope the researchers are successful in finding a way to navigate the laws in place, because this is an important study that could affect patients of all ages.
If you would like to learn a little more about how progesterone affects brain health, be sure to read this article from Virginia Hopkin's website, she is a terrific resource for information about bioidentical hormones. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter!