Why do some females recover from brain injury much faster and more completely than males?
The answer may have far-reaching implications for the treatment of traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other neurological disorders.
Neuroscientist Dr. Donald G. Stein and his colleagues have been investigating this question and have discovered something remarkable -- that the hormone progesterone confers profound neuroprotective effects that improve outcomes and reduce mortality following brain injuries.
Progesterone provides powerful neuroprotection to the fetus, particularly in late pregnancy, when it helps suppress neuronal excitation that can damage delicate new brain tissue. Dr. Stein and his colleagues have found that in addition to protecting the fetal brain, progesterone also protects and heals injured brain tissue.