Dr. Donald Stein’s work at Emory University with Dr. R. Kellerman and Dr. David Wright discovered progesterone’s benefits on brain function, through clinical trials that involved treating traumatic brain injury with progesterone. If progesterone was administered within 24 hours after injury, it yielded amazing results in controlling the inflammation process, swelling, and the outcome of functional behavior was drastically improved. The standard care of treatment for traumatic brain injury had been surpassed by the survival rates and outcome using progesterone instead. These studies are proving that progesterone prevents brain swelling after injury.
Due to their work, progesterone is now understood to be a developmental hormone that has the ability to repair processes in the brain as well as other places in the body. The properties found in progesterone’s ability to repair brain tissue seem to be similar to its work in the process of development of the fetus during pregnancy. Brain injuries can cause body-wide problems and affect more than just the brain; because progesterone not only focuses on the brain, but also protects and repairs other areas of the body that are affected by brain injury (such as seen in strokes or seizures), progesterone’s hope for brain injury means that it can possibly stop long term detrimental developmental processes as it acts as a regulatory hormone.