Repurposing N-Acetylcysteine to Reduce Oxidative Stress, an Important Factor in Traumatic Brain Injury

Adult, Current Research, Dr. Lewine, Drug, Military/Veteran, Neuro, University of New Mexico

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeffrey David Lewine​

Disease: Traumatic Brain Injury

Research Description: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) afflicts millions of persons each year and is a particular problem for the military and veterans. Symptoms over the first few days may include headache, balance issues, depression, and cognitive problems. In most cases, symptoms clear within a few weeks, but a significant minority of patients have symptoms that persist for a year or longer. There are no FDA approved medications for the short-term symptoms or long-term consequences of mTBI. Following TBI, the brain experiences an increase in oxidative stress (OS) and a decrease in glutathione (GSH), the brain’s primary antioxidant. Previous research indicates that N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), FDA approved for the treatment of acetaminophen poisoning and certain respiratory conditions, can help to increase and maintain brain GSH levels and thereby lower OS. This double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial will investigate the clinical safety and efficacy of intranasally delivered NAC to reduce the symptoms of mTBI. If successful, this work could lead to rapid FDA approval of this already available treatment for use in mTBI.

Funding Partners: The Kahlert Foundation and other funders

CWR funding role: Primary funder


Current Research