Testosterone replacement in hypogonadal men during inpatient rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: Results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical pilot study

David L. Ripley*, Don Gerber, Christopher Pretz, Alan H. Weintraub, Margaret E. Wierman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-368
Number of pages14
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Functional Independence Measure (FIM)
  • TBI
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • aggression
  • agitation
  • function
  • hypogonadism
  • outcomes
  • randomized drug trial
  • strength
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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