Across the world, the hunt is on for scientists to find a reliable medical treatment for the huge number of traumatic brain injury patients suffering every year. Now, researchers in New Zealand think they may have found an effective medication in one of the last places you’d think: tree bark.
Professor Valery Feigin, director of AUT’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, lead the study undertaken from AUT University which investigated the use of Enzogenol, which is extracted from the Pinus Radiata bark, to treat TBI patients. The results were published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Neurology.
“From what we’ve seen both in the clinical trials and anecdotally, Enzogenol has made the difference with TBI sufferers being able to return to some semblance of a quality, functioning life.” said Prof. Feigin.
Sixty patients with persistent cognitive difficulties due to TBI were involved in the study, where they were given Enzogenol for either six or twelve weeks. The researchers saw considerable improvement in day to day cognitive functioning, and improved short term memory.
This is not the first time studies have shown that Enzogenol can improve brain function, as previous studies show that the pine bark extract also helps brain function in people at risk of cognitive decline and those suffering from migraines.
“Until now, there has been a lack of effective medication for mild TBI and other than brain exercises there is limited treatment. A brain injury can have a devastating and long lasting effect, destroying a person’s life. Extreme fatigue, headaches, sensitivity to noise and light, failure to follow conversation threads, memory loss, social withdrawal and aggression are just some of the symptoms sufferers have to cope with,” Prof Feigin said in a press release.