A new study has found that a hormone important in pregnancy could also improve mortality rates in the month following a brain injury.
According to the researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, progesterone therapy has led to a 50 per cent reduction in the overall rate of death among those with brain injuries.
The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that the neurological outcomes remained poor however, even for those who had taken the hormone.
"We found encouraging evidence that progesterone is safe in the setting of traumatic brain injury, with no evidence of side effects or serious harmful events," said Dr David Wright, who worked on the study.
"In addition, we found a 50 per cent reduction in the rate of death in the progesterone-treated group. Furthermore, we found a significant improvement in the functional outcome and level of disability among patients who were enrolled with a moderate brain injury."
The research was carried out over a period of three years, with 100 brain-injured patients enrolled.