Efficacy of N-acetyl cysteine in traumatic brain injury

Katharine Eakin, Renana Baratz-Goldstein, Chiam G. Pick, Ofra Zindel, Carey D. Balaban, Michael E. Hoffer, Megan Lockwood, Jonathan Miller, Barry J. Hoffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, using two different injury models in two different species, we found that early post-injury treatment with NAcetyl Cysteine (NAC) reversed the behavioral deficits associated with the TBI. These data suggest generalization of a protocol similar to our recent clinical trial with NAC in blast-induced mTBI in a battlefield setting [1], to mild concussion from blunt trauma. This study used both weight drop in mice and fluid percussion injury in rats. These were chosen to simulate either mild or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). For mice, we used novel object recognition and the Y maze. For rats, we used the Morris water maze. NAC was administered beginning 30-60 minutes after injury. Behavioral deficits due to injury in both species were significantly reversed by NAC treatment. We thus conclude NAC produces significant behavioral recovery after injury. Future preclinical studies are needed to define the mechanism of action, perhaps leading to more effective therapies in man.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere90617
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 16 Apr 2014


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