Study Analyzes Use of Simvastatin and Environmental Enrichment on TBI Patients April 8, 2015.

A recent study published in the medical journal Brain Injury explored the use of Simvastatin and environmental enrichment on brain injury patients and the outcomes of each treatment. The target group of the study was patients with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries that affected their temporal order memory and spontaneous object recognition. Researchers used male Wistar rats in the study, and compared the therapeutic effects of both Simvastatin and environmental enrichment to see whether they improved memory and recognition and, if so, by how much.

Here’s how they conducted the study:

  • The rats arrived at the research facility.
  • Seven days after their arrival, once they had time to acclimate to their new surroundings and develop memories, reseachers gave the rats either a real or fake brain injury through surgery.
  • Beginning 24 hours after the surgeries, the rats given the real surgery were divided into two groups. One group received Simvastatin, and one group received environmental enrichment therapy; each group received its designated treatment for two hours each day.
  • The rats that received the fake surgery received saline for 14 days after the procedure.
  • After the surgeries, the rats were sent into a Y-shaped maze.
  • Researchers measured the rats’ progress through the maze and gauged their temporal order memories and spontaneous object recognition abilities.
  • Researchers tested the rats seven times: once at 6 hours after the surgeries, then 24 hours after, then 48 hours, then 72 hours, and then 7 days, 14 days, 21, and 35 days after the surgeries.

The researchers then compared the temporal order and spontaneous object recognition between the group that received real surgery and the group that had the fake surgery. They also compared the results between the group that received Simvastatin and the group that received environmental enrichment.

The study showed that the rats who received the real surgery had impaired temporal order memories and spontaneous object recognition for up to 35 days after the surgery. Environmental enrichment improved the spontaneous object recognition beginning seven days after the surgery. The Simvastatin improved temporal object recognition beginning 14 days after the surgery.

The researchers concluded that both Simvistatin and environmental enrichment are potentially good therapies; they might be able to help humans with traumatic brain injuries who have spontaneous object recognition and temporal order memory problems.