Central Texas doctor discovers potential concussion treatment - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Central Texas doctor discovers potential concussion treatment

Posted: Updated:

SAN ANTONIO (KHOU) -- Imagine popping a pill after a head injury to prevent brain damage. That revolutionary medical discovery may have been made in San Antonio.

The news comes at a time the NFL is being sued by former players who say they are still suffering from head injuries.

Concussions can not only be deadly, but a person can suffer long term effects like memory loss, blindness and chronic headaches.

But a doctor and professor at UT Health Science Center has discovered a key to preventing that kind of brain damage.

UT Health Science Center professor Dr. James Lechleiter knows how a concussion can lead to long term devastating effects, especially if not treated.

"Some of the most dangerous injuries are where you shake it off and sort of tough it out on football field," said Dr. Lechleiter.

A blow to the head in football could turn out to be pricey in court. Tuesday, a federal judge denied preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims, on the basis the money is insufficient to cover 20,000 retired players.

But Lechleiter has discovered new hope for athletes, injured soldiers and other victims of head trauma.

He received a patent for a possible new drug to actually prevent brain damage immediately after a concussion.

"It works very well for trauma," he said.

He discovered that a class of compounds that stimulate brain cell's called astrocytes can protect the brain from suffering long term effects.

He believes the compounds can be modified into a drug for humans that can be taken right after a knock to the head.

"Our data suggests if we can treat that initial injury within a few hours, maybe 30 minutes, we can prevent long term development of these diseases," said Dr. Lechleiter.

Diseases and mental loss for which the NFL may now have to fork out millions to thousands of ex-players who say the NFL knew about the dangers of on-field head injuries but did not do enough to help them.

The next step is phase one clinical trials to make sure the compound doesn't have toxic side effects. Dr. Lechleiter hopes that a drug will hit the market within the next 5 years.

Read more here.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Time Warner Cable comes back from nationwide Internet outage

    Time Warner Cable comes back from nationwide Internet outage

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:33 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:33:53 GMT
    Time Warner Cable, one of the nation's largest cable and broadband providers, suffered an unusual nationwide Internet outage early Wednesday morning. Time Warner Cable says the outage happened during their routine network maintenance.More >>
    Time Warner Cable, one of the nation's largest cable and broadband providers, suffered an unusual nationwide Internet outage early Wednesday morning. Time Warner Cable says the outage happened during their routine network maintenance.More >>
  • Beating the back-to-school blues

    Beating the back-to-school blues

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:32:53 GMT
    TYLER (KYTX) - Students are back to school after a long summer off, or maybe it's their first year ever in the classroom. This transition isn't always easy for kids. But, there are ways to help them beat the back-to-school blues.More >>
    TYLER (KYTX) - Students are back to school after a long summer off, or maybe it's their first year ever in the classroom. This transition isn't always easy for kids. But, there are ways to help them beat the back-to-school blues.More >>
  • Wednesday's Weather: Sunny and hot; high mid-90s

    Wednesday's Weather: Sunny and hot; high mid-90s

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:09:07 GMT
    Good Wednesday morning! A few clouds from the storms well to our south will move up into East TX this afternoon, otherwise expect only isolated thunderstorms across Deep East Texas today.More >>
    Good Wednesday morning! A few clouds from the storms well to our south will move up into East TX this afternoon, otherwise expect only isolated thunderstorms across Deep East Texas today.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.