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Progesterone May Help Traumatic Brain Injury 

Dr. John Lee wrote much about the positive benefits of natural progesterone in relation t strokes.

“One of the most important things a woman can do to prevent strokes is to maintain normal physiological levels of progesterone...The rarity of strokes in premenopausal women with normal progesterone levels that balance estrogen’s stroke-causing effects suggests that progesterone helps prevent estrogen-related strokes”

Dr. Lee also spoke of instances whereby a stroke victim recovered more effectively and more rapidly when progesterone cream was applied as soon as possible after a stroke or ischemic attack.

A recent study follows:

Wright DW, Kellermann AL, Hertzberg VS, Clark PL, Frankel M, Goldstein FC, Salomone JP, Dent LL, Harris OA, Ander DS, Lowery DW, Patel MM, Denson DD, Gordon AB, Wald MM, Gupta S, Hoffman SW, Stein DG. ProTECT: a randomized clinical trial of progesterone for acute traumatic brain injury. Ann Emerg Med 2006 Sep 28; [Epub ahead of print].

A neuroprotective effect of progesterone was observed in this randomized, placebo-controlled trial of very high dose, intravenous progesterone therapy given for 3 days after acute traumatic brain injury. Only 13% of the patients died within 30 days after injury in the progesterone group, compared with 30% of the placebo group, and the progesterone group was more likely to have a moderate to good functional outcome after 30 days than the placebo group. Even at the extremely high dose used, no serious adverse events were seen with progesterone.

It appears that progesterone is effective in reducing infarct size following acute, focal ischemia, not only when given prior to the onset of ischemia, but also, surprisingly, when given after the stroke onset.