Researchers claim that a new kind of magnetic stimulation could reverse concussion symptoms that include sleep disturbance, loss of balance, hazy comprehension, and inability to walk straight. A team from the University of Saskatchewan examined how this method could work.
Researchers conducted a test on rodents with a concussion and found that 20 minutes of magnetic stimulation daily showed massive improvements. They were able to walk straight, run on a wheel, perform well on cognitive tests and even navigate a maze. After receiving the treatment for almost four days, the magnetic stimulation was able to restore normal function in the rodents. Through the research, the team also found that low-frequency magnetic stimulation may be able to protect the brain from future degeneration, which is a major risk factor in people who experience serious concussions.
"Concussion is a major health concern effecting all sections of society from children whose brain is still developing to older people suffering falls," study author Professor Changiz Taghibiglou, told a news portal. Adding, "The beauty of this therapy is not only that it is effective, but that it is non-invasive, easy to use and cost-effective.'
Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), has become a growing public health issue due to sports injuries, fall, head trauma and road accidents. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), close to 10 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) almost every year. A concussion can also cause painful headaches and make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks.
Researchers want to conduct further tests on rodents to test the long-term effect of the treatment before moving on to human trials. Children and adolescents are more vulnerable to the effects of brain injuries as their brains have not yet fully developed. "Traumatic brain injury is a clinical condition that poses significant challenges to patients, families and health professionals," co-author of the study Dr Yanbo Zhang (M.D), professor of psychiatry in USask's College of Medicine, told a news portal. Adding,"Patients can suffer long-lasting cognitive impairments, emotional and behavioural changes. Currently, we do not have effective treatment to improve the cognitive impairment. Low frequency magnetic stimulation provides a novel option for concussion treatment. It is portable, non-invasive and affordable."
The study's findings were originally published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.