Approximately 29-71 percent of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience the problem of irritability and/or aggression which can interfere with interpersonal interaction, relationships and function. The current medical literature does not support standards or guidelines for the management of TBI irritability or aggression. However, pilot research at Carolinas Rehabilitation has revealed that amantadine may reduce irritability and aggression severity and frequency.
The idea for this treatment came from our clinician and family observations of the drug's effect. Amantadine as a treatment for this problem provides an addition to the traditional approach to managing TBI irritability and aggression. To confirm these pilot findings and learn more about the drug's impact on irritability and aggression, Carolinas Rehabilitation is now leading a multi-center research study on the effect of amantadine for 60 days. This project is funded through a $4.2 million grant from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research. The study will enroll 168 individuals with TBI irritability to accomplish the following aims:
- AIM 1: Assess effect of amantadine for 28 days at reducing TBI irritability
- AIM 2: Assess the effect of amantadine for 28 days at reducing TBI aggression
- AIM 3: Assess the effect of amantadine for 60 days on TBI irritability and aggression
- AIM 4: Assess the effect of amantadine on cognitive function following TBI
Participating study sites are:
- Carolinas Rehabilitation
- The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research
- The Ohio State University
- University of Washington
- Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
- Indiana University School of Medicine at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana
Columbia University will serve as the Data Coordinating Center.
Project Director and Principal Investigator: Flora Hammond, MD