The effect of the selective NMDA receptor antagonist traxoprodil in the treatment of traumatic brain injury

Lorraine Yurkewicz, Jerry Weaver, M. Ross Bullock, Lawrence F. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a major public health problem, and there is a great medical need for a pharmacological treatment that could improve long-term outcome. The excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, has been implicated in processes leading to neurodegeneration. Traxoprodil (CP-101,606) is a novel and potent glutamate receptor antagonist that is highly selective for the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor; it has been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of brain injury and ischemia. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was therefore conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of a 72-h infusion of traxoprodil compared to placebo in subjects with computed tomography scan evidence of severe TBI (GCS 4-8). A total of 404 males and non-pregnant females, aged 16-70, were treated within 8 h of injury. At baseline, subjects were stratified by motor score severity. The results showed that a greater proportion of the traxoprodiltreated subjects had a favorable outcome on the dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale (dGOS) at 6 months (delta 5.5%, OR 1.3, p = 0.21, 95% CI:[0.85, 2.06]) and at last visit (delta 7.5%, OR 1.47, p = 0.07, 95% CI:[0.97, 2.25]). The mortality rate with traxoprodil treatment was 7% less than with placebo treatment (OR 1.45, p = 0.08, 95% CI:[0.96, 2.18]). Differences between treatment groups were more pronounced in the severest subset (delta 11.8% for the dGOS at last visit and delta 16.6% for mortality). Traxoprodil was well tolerated. Although these results are intriguing, no definitive claim of efficacy can be made for traxoprodil for the treatment of severe TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1428-1443
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Neuroprotectant
  • NMDA receptor antagonist
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of the selective NMDA receptor antagonist traxoprodil in the treatment of traumatic brain injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this