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Neuroendocrine Dysfunction in Traumatic Brain Injury: Effects of Testosterone Therapy

PI(s): David Ripley, MD, Margaret Weirman, MD Site PI(s): Alan Weintraub, MD, Don Gerber, PsyD 
Funded by: CO TBI Trust Fund
Dates: 2010 - 2016
Contact: Jody Newman jnewman@craighospital.org 303-789-8570

Neuroendocrine dysfunction following traumatic brain injury (TBI) has recently been an area of significant investigation. As many as 80% of men with severe TBI experience low testosterone (T) levels, or hypogonadism, following injury. Testosterone therapy has been shown to be effective in improving strength, cognition, and function in hypogonadal men, although this has yet to be evaluated in hypogonadal men with TBI. This study assesses the hormonal status of men on admission to an inpatient TBI rehabilitation program. Individuals with low T levels are randomized to receive either physiologic T therapy or placebo. Individuals with sufficient levels of T are followed as a second control group. All three groups undergo serial assessment of neurological function and functional independence to correlate with hormone levels. Findings will be disseminated at professional and consumer conferences and in peer-reviewed journals and consumer-based publications. If T therapy is found to be effective, findings will be used as preliminary data for a grant proposal for a multi-center trial. These findings will have direct impact on optimizing the rehabilitation of individuals with TBI.