U.S. Army Awards Grant to Advance Methamphetamine TBI Drug

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A successful study showing that low doses of methamphetamine given to rodents within 12 hours after a traumatic brain injury or stroke significantly reduces brain damage and impairment has won a University of Montana researcher a $1 million grant. The U.S. Army awarded the grant to Dave Poulsen to develop a drug that limits the damage caused by traumatic brain injuries and advance preclinical development studies towards Phase I/II clinical trials.

“The military eventually wants a drug that can be administered to soldiers exposed to blast-force energy waves from explosions such as those experienced by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Poulsen, a research professor in UM’s Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, as reported by Phys.Org. “Such therapies would be applied within hours of exposure to a significant blast.”

Poulson has already been awarded a previous $1.5 million Army grant back in 2011 to determine the lowest effective dose and therapeutic window that the drug can be administered following a moderate to severe TBI. It also examined the potential for a low-dose methamphetamine that could prevent or reduce post-traumatic epilepsy. The lab found that effective doses were relatively similar to those used to treat ADHD in children.

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