A Study on the Impact of Etanercept on Neurological Dysfunction

A graduate of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Edward Tobinick has three decades of medical experience. He is the founder of the Institute of Neurological Recovery (INR), a center that has pioneered new approaches for a number of neurological disorders. In 2012, Dr. Edward Tobinick and INR broke new ground with the publication of a study exploring a new potential treatment option for patients with chronic neurological dysfunction after a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Spanning two years, the observational study reported the clinical results of etanercept utilized for 629 patients, 617 of whom were treated a mean of about three and a half years after experiencing a stroke. The remaining 12 patients had suffered other brain injuries a mean of nearly ten years prior to treatment. In a method developed by Dr. Tobinick, the treatment was administered by delivery into the perispinal area drained by Batson’s Plexus, the maze of veins surrounding the spine. The patients were then tilted head-down to increase the gravitational pressure in the blood column. When examined after treatment, patients showed statistically significant improvement in a variety of areas, including spasticity and motor impairment.

Etanercept binds to and inactivates excess levels of a protein called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). Etanercept is typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, other forms of arthritis, and psoriasis, all disorders associated with excess TNF. This observational study suggests that brain inflammation, mediated by the cytokine TNF, plays a significant role in the chronic neurological dysfunction that may follow stroke or traumatic brain injury.

For further information, please see:

1. The full-text of the observational study, available at this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23100196
2. The Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) cover story regarding several patients treated at the Institute of Neurological Recovery in Boca Raton, Florida with perispinal etanercept following stroke, by Nicole Brochu, entitled “Boca doctor gives stroke survivors new shot at mobility, independence”, available at the following link:


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