Statins in traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common cause of long-term neurological morbidity, with devastating personal and societal consequences. At present, no pharmacological intervention clearly improves outcomes, and therefore a compelling unmet clinical need remains. 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or "statins," offer a potential novel therapeutic strategy for TBI. Statins are well tolerated, easy to administer, and have a long clinical track record in critically ill patients. Their side effects are well defined and easily monitored. Preclinical studies have shown significant benefit of statins in models of TBI and related disease processes, including cerebral ischemia, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. In fact, multiple mechanisms have been defined by which statins may exert benefit after acute brain injury. Statins are currently positioned to be translated into clinical trials in acute brain injury and have the potential to improve outcomes after TBI.
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