According to the University of Saskatchewan, concussion symptoms, such as loss of balance, hazy comprehension and ability to walk straight, can be reversed by magnetic therapy.
Magnetic therapy or stimulation using a laptop-style device for 20 minutes per day improved the ability of rodents with concussion symptoms to walk in a straight line, navigate a maze, run on a wheel, and perform cognitive tests, according to research published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.
Using magnetic therapy to reverse concussion symptoms
Professor Changiz Taghibiglou, who led the research, explains: “Concussion is a major health concern effecting all sections of society from children whose brain is still developing to older people suffering falls.”
“The beauty of this therapy is not only that it is effective, but that it is non-invasive, easy to use and cost-effective.”
The University of Saskatchewan (USask) team also found evidence that low frequency magnetic simulation could potentially protect the brain from future degeneration, a risk following serious concussions.
Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a major public health concern and can be caused by sports injuries, motor-vehicle accidents, falls and other head trauma.
The WHO estimate that more than 10 million people per year are affected by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In Canada, 160,000 people suffer from brain injuries annually, with over 1.5 million Canadians living with the consequences.
Concussion can also cause severe headaches and hamper a person’s ability to think straight and perform day-to-day tasks.
Dr Yanbo Zhang, Professor of Psychiatry in USask’s College of Medicine, and co-author of the paper adds: “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.”
Details of the study
Within four days of treatment, rodents with repeated concussion could perform a variety of cognition and motor tests restored to almost normal levels. Their body clocks, governing sleep patterns, which can be thrown out of sync by concussion, were also restored to their normal function.
The mice were exposed to low levels of magnetic stimulation, which mimic the way brain waves oscillate.
Mice with concussion that had not been treated were unable to perform the behavioural and neurological tasks, which included running on a wheel without falling off.
Taghibiglou also found that certain proteins, which are important to protect the brain from various neurological conditions, were restored to their normal level by the low-frequency magnetic stimulation. The proteins protect neurons and halt the progression of post-concussion inflammation and neurodegeneration.