Edaravone is a novel free radical scavenger used clinically in patients with acute cerebral infarction; however, it has not been assessed in traumatic brain injury (TBI). We investigated the effects of edaravone on cerebral function and morphology following TBI. Rats received TBI with a pneumatic controlled injury device. Edaravone (3 mg/kg) or physiological saline was administered intravenously following TBI. Numbers of 8-OHdG-, 4-HNE-, and ssDNA-positive cells around the damaged area after TBI were significantly decreased in the edaravone group compared with the saline group (P < 0.01). There was a significant increase in neuronal cell number and improvement in cerebral dysfunction after TBI in the edaravone group compared with the saline group (P < 0.01). Edaravone administration following TBI inhibited free radical-induced neuronal degeneration and apoptotic cell death around the damaged area. In summary, edaravone treatment improved cerebral dysfunction following TBI, suggesting its potential as an effective clinical therapy.