Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver, Newsroom

Estrogen may protect against neurological damage resulting from cardiac arrest

University of Colorado Denver professor receives grant to continue research


AURORA, Colo. (Nov. 30, 2010) - Cardiac arrest strikes more than 500,000 Americans each year, and only 5-6 percent of the population who experience cardiac arrest and resuscitation survive and return to their lives as they were prior to the arrest. Finding a way to protect against neurological and neuropsychological effects of cardiac arrest and resuscitation will save countless lives, reducing the suffering of those individuals following cardiac arrest and resuscitation world-wide, as well as reducing the financial cost to society.

To continue his research concerning brain protection following cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Richard J. Traystman, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research and professor at the University of Colorado Denver, received a grant from the Walter S. & Lucienne Driskill Foundation. He has been awarded $800,000 for two years to determine if estrogen or testosterone will affect the neurological damage done by cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Traystman has demonstrated in previous research that estrogen has neuroprotective effects following both stroke and cardiac arrest. In contrast, testosterone results in greater brain injury.

If estrogen continues to be shown to be neuroprotective following cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the Driskill Foundation is interested in funding a clinical trial. Estrogen will be administered immediately after the patient’s cardiac arrest in the hospital, or in a 911 emergency ambulance. The trial will make it possible for Traystman’s research to be brought to the patient as quickly as possible.

The University of Colorado Denver is one of the state’s leading research institutions, offering comprehensive programs for undergraduate, graduate and heath sciences students on two campuses in Denver and Aurora. UC Denver faculty and researchers are the foundation creating the reputation for excellence and innovation characteristic of the University of Colorado. The University offers more than 120 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. For more information, visit the UC Denver Newsroom.


Contact: Jacque Montgomery, 303-724-1528,