Allegheny General Hospital will be taking part in an international study to determine whether the hormone progesterone may aid in the recovery following a severe head injury.
The study is being funded by pharmaceutical company BHR Pharma. About 100 medical centers around the world will take part in the study, scheduled to last three years.
Jack Wilberger, Chairman of The Department of Neurosurgery at Allegheny General Hospital will be a principal investigator on the study. He said the study came about because women appear to recover better from traumatic head injuries than men do even though they receive the same care.
The overall study will enroll 1,800 patients. Allegheny General Hospital sees about 75 people with severe head injuries a year. They estimate that about twenty percent of those will participate.
A severe head injury is classified as one that leaves someone in a coma. The most common cause of them are automobile accidents. Previous studies show that progesterone serves as a brain protector. It occurs in men and women but is best known as a female hormone that plays a role in maintaining pregnancies.