Peptide Pharmacological Approaches to Treating Traumatic Brain Injury: A Case for Arginine-Rich Peptides

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Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a devastating effect on victims and their families, and has profound negative societal and economic impacts, a situation that is further compounded by the lack of effective treatments to minimise injury after TBI. The current strategy for managing TBI is partly through preventative measures and partly through surgical and rehabilitative interventions. Secondary brain damage remains the principal focus for the development of a neuroprotective therapeutic. However, the complexity of TBI pathophysiology has meant that single-action pharmacological agents have been largely unsuccessful in combatting the associated brain injury cascades, while combination therapies to date have proved equally ineffective. Peptides have recently emerged as promising lead agents for the treatment of TBI, especially those rich in the cationic amino acid, arginine. Having been shown to lessen the impact of ischaemic stroke in animal models, there are reasonable grounds to believe that arginine-rich peptides may have neuroprotective therapeutic potential in TBI. Here, we review a range of peptides previously examined as therapeutic agents for TBI. In particular, we focus on cationic arginine-rich peptides -- a new class of agents that growing evidence suggests acts through multiple neuroprotective mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

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