Mild traumatic brain injuries can result in long-term cognitive issues.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be mild or severe, but each case signals a disruption in the usual functioning of the brain.
Doctors tend to refer to less serious TBIs as concussions. These events are more common, resulting from the likes of car accidents, falls, and sports injuries.
Symptoms range from headaches, dizziness, and nausea to problems with cognitive and sleeping functions.
Most people completely recover from a concussion in a short period of time, but some may experience lasting effects — especially if they have had a mild TBI before. Multiple concussions can lead to memory problems and issues with concentration and balance.
Concussions can be particularly problematic for young people, whose brains have not yet fully developed. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, more than 800,000 children received treatment in U.S. emergency departments for some form of TBI in 2014.
“[TBI] is a clinical condition that poses significant challenges to patients, families, and health professionals,” notes Dr. Yanbo Zhang, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, in Canada.
“Patients can suffer long-lasting cognitive impairments [and] emotional and behavioral changes. Currently, we do not have effective treatment to improve the cognitive impairment,” he explains.
A novel form of treatment
Dr. Zhang is the co-author of an investigation into a potential new treatment for concussion, the findings of which appear in the Journal of Neurotrauma.
He and a team from the University of Saskatchewan examined the use of low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS).
This noninvasive technique is a form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Researchers first used this technique to painlessly stimulate nerves and the brain in 1985.Concussion leaves mark in brain’s white matter 6 months after injuryScientists are unravelling the consequences of concussion.READ NOW
LFMS has shown particularly promising results in treating mental health condit