BACKGROUND: Endocrinopathy, including hypogonadism, is common following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Prior evidence suggests hypogonadism is associated with poorer function. OBJECTIVE: Determine the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of testosterone (T) therapy in hypogonadal men following TBI in acute rehabilitation. DESIGN: Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial. SETTING: Inpatient rehabilitation brain injury unit. PARTICIPANTS: Men ages 18 -65, post moderate to severe TBI receiving inpatient rehabilitation. INTERVENTIONS: Transdermal T gel or placebo. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Revised FIM™ score, strength, adverse events. RESULTS: Of 498 screened, 70 participants were enrolled, and 22 meeting all criteria were randomized into placebo (n=10) or physiologic T therapy (n=12). There was no significant difference between groups in rate of improvement on the FIM™ (intercepts t=-0.31, p=0.7593, or slopes t=0.61, p=0.5472). The Treatment group demonstrated the greatest absolute improvement in FIM™ scores and grip strength compared to Placebo or Normal T groups. There was no difference in adverse events between groups. Percentage of time with agitation or aggression was highest in the Placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: Although there were no significant differences in rates of recovery, treatment group subjects showed greater absolute functional and strength improvement compared to the Placebo or Normal T groups.
- Functional Independence Measure (FIM)
- Traumatic brain injury
- randomized drug trial
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation