SAN DIEGO – The healthy brain is a master of autoregulation, continuously adjusting blood flow to meet metabolic demand.
But in traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) breaks down; blood vessels don’t dilate as they should to deliver nutrients and oxygen, leading to progressive neurologic decline.
Sildenafil (Viagra) – a vasodilator in injured blood vessels – might help, according to ongoing research at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Researchers thereto inpatients with persistent symptoms at least 6 months after traumatic brain injury and measured CVR by a novel MRI technique an hour later. “Sildenafil was able to correct the deficit in CVR in many cases. We are hopeful this could be a useful therapy,” said principal investigator , a professor of neurology at the university.
He explained the work in an