Mild traumatic brain injuries can give rise to long-term intellectual problems. According to a recent study, a low-intensity form of magnetic stimulation could be the first operative treatment for traumatic brain injuries.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be minor or severe, but each case hints an interruption in the brain functioning. Mild traumatic brain injury is also known as concussion, mild brain injury, mild head injury, and minor head trauma.
Physicians incline to refer to less serious traumatic brain injuries like concussions. These issues are much common and may result from the likes of car accidents, sports injuries, and falls.
Its symptoms can range from dizziness, headaches, and nausea to complications with mental and sleeping functions. Multiple concussions can also result in memory issues with balance and concentration. Sometimes, people may totally recover from a concussion in a short period. However, some individuals may experience its long-lasting effects, particularly if they have had a mild TBI before.
For young people, concussions can be chiefly problematic. This is because their brains have not yet completely developed. According to a report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 children received treatment in the U.S. for some form of TBI.
According to the researchers, TBI is a condition which poses challenges to patients and health professionals. Patients can suffer lifelong cognitive injuries and behavioral changes. Presently, there is no effective treatment for the treatment of cognitive impairment.
A novel form of treatment
A recent study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, found a possible new treatment for concussion. The researchers of the study examined the use of low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS). This noninvasive system is a form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. In 1985, researchers first used this methodology to painlessly stimulate nerves and the brain.
According to Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital, in Boston, MA, LFMS has presented predominantly promising results in treating intellectual health conditions. Therefore, some people report instant improvements in their mood after this therapy. But researchers found that stimulating certain brain areas also improved symptoms of concussion in mice.
Using a weight-drop technique, the research team gave each mouse a TBI in the right hemisphere of the brain. They repeated that injury once a day for 3 days.
Then, the researchers directed LFMS in the treatment group directly after the TBIs. This treatment lasted 20 minutes a day for about 4 days in a row.
Findings of the study
The study outcomes showed that the mice could perform cognitive and motor tests within 4 days of LFMS treatment. Tasks for mice included finding their way through a web, running on a wheel without a drop, and walking in a straight line.
In reality, the performance levels of rodents were nearly back to normal within this time period. The scientists also witnessed that regular sleep patterns resumed. Thus, proposing that the body clocks of animals were no longer affected by the concussions.
The researchers then recorded a change in the protein levels which safeguard the brain from degeneration and inflammation. These, too, returned to normal after LFMS exposure for 4 days.
On the other hand, animals that had not received this therapy could not effectively perform the same neurological or physical tasks.
An extended study in rodents is next on the cards. If that offers encouraging results, a human trial will finally test the success of LFMS on mild TBIs.