Current Projects

Traumatic Brain Injury 

  • In collaboration with the Emory Institute for Drug Development (EIDD) we are developing “field-ready” versions of progesterone that are more stable, soluble and easy to administer to patients suffering from various types of moderate to severe TBI and stroke.
  • We are collaborating with colleagues in Biomedical Engineering to develop and test a mild repetitive brain injury model in mice, and examining blood flow, vascular repair and long-term behavioral recovery in response to progesterone treatment. 

Stroke

  • We are testing progesterone dosing, duration of treatment and time window of opportunity for treatment in permanent and transient models of ischemic stroke in male and female rodents. 
  • Chronic severe stress causes massive and systemic inflammation which can exacerbate morbidity and mortality. We are examining the long- and short-term consequences of chronic stress on morphological and functional recovery, and on gut microbiota, in mice and rats. 

Retinal Stroke

  • We are examining whether the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone can reduce the visual deficits and chronic retinal and brain inflammation caused by optic nerve injury in mice. Preliminary data show that progesterone reduces retinal cell loss and improves recording of evoked potentials from the occipital cortex after visual stimulation.

Nervous System Tumors

  • We are investigating progesterone at very high doses in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. Preliminary studies indicate that progesterone can reduce the volume and growth of these deadly brain tumors. 
  • Our team is also following up on evidence that progesterone may attenuate some of the toxicity and cerebral edema caused by whole-brain radiation in mice with glioblastoma.

Combination therapies

  • Many patients with stroke or TBI suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which can worsen morbidity. We are studying how chronic Vitamin D deficiency affects the outcome of progesterone treatment in animals with cerebral ischemia or TBI. Vitamin D is a hormone related to progesterone which acts through different mechanisms to reduce inflammation and edema.  

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