In this medical video learn how a drug used for Alzheimer's disease offers hope to people with brain injuries.
Read the full transcript »
Jeniffer Mathews: Every year, Jeniffer Mathews.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury. Jessica Cotter: I was in the back seat of my friend's car. A lady crossed into our lane and hit us head on. Jeniffer Mathews: Jessica Cotter was seven months pregnant when the crash sent her into a coma. Jessica Cotter: Eleven days later, I went into labor in a coma. Jeniffer Mathews: Seven years later, her son Andrew is fine, but Jessica's memory was severely affected. Jeniffer Mathews: Douglas Katz, says the Alzheimer's drug rivastigmine could help. In one study, 30% of patients on the drug recalled five additional words on a test, compared to just 10 percent of those on placebo. But that's not all... Douglas Katz: The more significant findings were with those who had more significant problems with memory to begin with. Jeniffer Mathews: The drug enhances a chemical involved in memory and learning. Today, Jessica aces memory tests even non-injured people might find tough, like repeating a set of numbers backward. Douglas Katz: They can focus their attention better. They can concentrate better. They can recall things more easily. Jeniffer Mathews: The study is over, but Jessica says she'd keep taking the drug if it gets approved. Jessica Cotter: It's just like there was not so much work in remembering things. Jeniffer Mathews: For now, she's sticking to routines and writing things down to keep her memory intact. This is Jeniffer Mathews reporting.