In TBI, Memantine May Reduce Neuronal Damage

HealthDay News — For patients with moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI), memantine is associated with reduced neuronal damage, as assessed by serum levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Majid Mokhtari, MD, from Imam Hossein Hospital in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues randomized 41 patients to either a control group which received standard TBI management (19 patients) or a treatment group which received enteral memantine 30 mg twice daily for 7 days alongside standard management (22 patients). During the study, patients’ clinical data, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), findings of head computed tomography, and serum NSE levels were obtained.

The researchers found that on days 3 and 7, the mean serum NSE levels were 7.95 ± 2.86 and 12.33 ± 7.09 ng/mL (P = 0.05) and 5.03 ± 3.25 and 10.04 ± 5.72 ng/mL (P = 0.03), respectively, for the memantine and control groups. On day 3, the mean GCS score was 12.3 ± 2.0 and 10.9 ± 1.9 in the memantine and control groups, respectively (P = 0.03). There was a negative correlation for serum NSE levels and GCS changes (r = −0.368; P = 0.02).

“Patients with moderate TBI who received memantine had significantly reduced serum NSE levels by day 7 and marked improvement in their GCS scores on day 3 of the study,” the authors write.

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Moktari M, Nayeb-Aghaei H, Kouchek M, et al. Effect of memantine on serum levels of neuron-specific enolase and on the glasgow coma scale in patients with moderate traumatic brain injury [published online July 19, 2017]. J Clin Pharmacol. doi:10.1002/jcph.980