Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) in Trauma and Disease: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) in Trauma and Disease

1st Edition

By Stanley W. Jacob, Jack C. de la Torre

CRC Press

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First isolated as a chemical compound by a Russian chemist in 1866, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) proved to be a near-perfect solvent for decades before its remarkable biological and medical activities were discovered. DMSO is one of the most prodigious agents ever to come out of the world of drug development. Its wide range of biological actions involving plants, animals, and humans has led to the publication of tens of thousands of articles in the scientific literature.

Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) in Trauma and Disease examines the major clinical uses of DMSO in humans as supported by basic evidence derived from experiments in animals, including its effects in disorders such as osteoarthritis, interstitial cystitis, gastrointestinal inflammatory changes, scleroderma, respiratory distress, myasthenia gravis, cardiac disease, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The effects of DMSO on pain, cancer, stroke, and spinal cord injury are also discussed. The book explores how its chemical structure is able to react and deactivate toxic molecules generated by DNA damage, free radical formation, inflammation, oxidation, and infection. For the first time, the collective data on the biological, chemical, and medical actions of DMSO are presented and analyzed from the published scientific literature.

Clearly written, the book incorporates easy-to-understand scientific descriptions that appeal both to health care professionals and the millions of people worldwide who have used DMSO for an assortment of ailments as a prescriptive or off-label medication.

Table of Contents

Chemistry of DMSO

Chemical Structure and Properties of DMSO

DMSO Solvation and Chemical Activity

Protein Folding

Permeability Enhancement

DMSO as a Chemical Chaperone

DMSO as an Electrolyte


DMSO in the Sea and the Atmosphere


DMSO in Basic Pharmacology

Absorption, Fate, and Excretion of DMSO


Chemical Chaperones

DMSO as a Pain Medication



Cardiac Disease

Ulcerative Colitis

Skin Penetrant

Wound Healing

Burns and Scar Tissue

Respiratory Stimulation

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Experimental Blunt Chest Trauma



Cholinesterase Inhibition

Solvent Action

Veterinary Uses

Teratology and LD

Ocular Effects

Intrawound Administration of DMSO


DMSO Clinical Pharmacology

DMSO in Disease


Interstitial Cystitis

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Autoimmune Disorders


Amyloidosis and Scleroderma

Thromboembolic Events

Platelet Deaggregation and Free Radical Scavenging

Tissue Factor and Inflammation

Clinical Toxicology


DMSO in Genetics

Protection from Ionizing Radiation

DMSO Protection of Single- and Double-Stranded DNA Breaks

DMSO in Cellular Differentiation

Cancer Stem Cells and Differentiation


DMSO in Basic Microbiology

DMSO in Bacterial Infections

DMSO and Pathogens

DMSO in Viral and Fungal Pathology


DMSO in Clinical Microbiology

How Bacteria Achieve Antibiotic Resistance

DMSO in Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis


DMSO in Malignancy

DMSO and Neoplasia

Friend Leukemia Cells

HL-60 Human Cell Line

Metastatic Liver Disease

DMSO Combined with Anticancer Agents

DMSO in Extravasation

Cancer and Radiation

Onyx Embolization


DMSO in Basic Neuroprotection

Brain Trauma Overview

Secondary Injury and Ischemic Penumbral Neurons

DMSO in Experimental Brain Trauma

Free Radicals in Brain Injury

Cerebral Hemodynamic Function in Brain Injury


Tissue Factor

Cerebral Blood Flow


DMSO in Brain Concussion

DMSO Combined with a Glycolytic Intermediate

DMSO in Experimental Brain Ischemia

Ethical Considerations for Using Nonhuman Primates in CNS Injuries

Role of DMSO in Experimental Stroke

DMSO in Missile Injury to the Brain

DMSO Compared to Mannitol in Missile Injury

DMSO in Aging Research

DMSO in Experimental Dementia

DMSO in Experimental Spinal Cord Injury

DMSO as a Solvent


DMSO in Clinical Neuroprotection

Overview of Clinical Traumatic Brain Injury

Head Injury in Children

Cost and Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Treating Traumatic Brain Injury

DMSO in Traumatic Brain Injury

Optimal DMSO Dose for Traumatic Brain Injury

Comparing DMSO Doses, Duration of Treatment, and Use as a First- or Second-Line Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury

DMSO in Intracranial Aneurysm Hemorrhage

DMSO Compared to Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury

DMSO + Fructose-1,6-Disphosphate (FDP) for Ischemic Stroke


About the Authors

Stanley W. Jacob was a professor emeritus of surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. He received his MD from Ohio State University and completed his surgical training at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was a chief resident in surgery at Harvard Surgical Services and an instructor in surgery at Harvard School of Medicine before he was appointed to the faculty at Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Jacob discovered the medicinal properties of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). This discovery led to more than 20,000 publications in such areas as pain, inflammation, scleroderma, interstitial cystitis, arthritis, resistant tuberculosis, cancer, cryobiology, free radicals, stroke, and neuroprotection. Dr. Jacob received many honors during his career and also authored a dozen medical textbooks and more than 170 peer-reviewed articles.

Jack C. de la Torre is an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Texas in Austin.He began his work on dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in the early 1970s shortly after his appointment as assistant professor in neurosurgery at the University of Chicago. Dr. de la Torre’s research revealed DMSO’s ability to quickly reduce intracranial pressure, restore cerebral blood flow, and stabilize respiration in nonhuman primates sustaining lethal traumatic brain injuries. For the next eight years, he extended his brain trauma findings and showed that intravenous administration of DMSO was effective in treating primary and secondary damage following experimental ischemic stroke and spinal cord trauma. Dr. de la Torre has published more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles and written or edited a dozen medical texts on pathology, neurotransmitters, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Neurology
MEDICAL / Pharmacology
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General