Concussion symptoms reversed by magnetic therapy

Concussion symptoms reversed by magnetic therapy
Associate professor Changiz Taghibiglou (left) and Dr. Yanbo Zhang are researching new therapies for concussion in the College of Medicine. Credit: James Shewaga, University of Saskatchewan

Concussion symptoms—such as loss of balance, hazy comprehension, sleep disturbance and ability to walk straight—can be reversed by a new type of magnetic stimulation, research at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows.

Magnetic stimulation using a laptop-style device for 20 minutes per day improved the ability of rodents with concussion 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.

"Concussion is a major health concern effecting all sections of society from children whose brain is still developing to suffering falls," said Professor Changiz Taghibiglou, who led the research. "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 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 (mTBI) is a major public health concern and can be caused by sports injuries, motor-vehicle accidents, falls and other .

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 10 million people per year are affected by a (TBI). In Canada, 160,000 people suffer from brain injuries annually, with over 1.5 million Canadians living with the consequences. Income lost from disabilities related to brain injuries in Canada is predicted to rise from $7.3billion to $8.2 billion between 2011 and 2031.

Concussion can also cause severe headaches and hamper a person's ability to think straight and perform day-to-day tasks.

Within four days of treatment, rodents with repeated concussion had their ability to perform a variety of cognition and motor tests restored to almost . Their bodyclocks, governing sleep patterns, which can be thrown out of sync by concussion, were also restored to their normal function.

In the next stages of the research program, the USask team plans to conduct longer-term tests on rodents, followed by human trials.

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 behavioral 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.

Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of brain injuries as their brains are still developing into their early 20s.

"Traumatic injury is a clinical condition that poses significant challenges to patients, families and ," said Dr. Yanbo Zhang (M.D), professor of psychiatry in USask's College of Medicine, and co-author of the paper.

"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 treatment. It is portable, non-invasive and affordable."


Explore further

Study paves way for better treatment of lingering concussion symptoms

More information: Sathiya Sekar et al, Low Field Magnetic Stimulation Restores Cognitive and Motor Functions in the Mouse Model of Repeated Traumatic Brain Injury: Role of Cellular Prion Protein, Journal of Neurotrauma (2019). DOI: 10.1089/neu.2018.5918
Journal information: Journal of Neurotrauma

Citation: Concussion symptoms reversed by magnetic therapy (2019, May 30) retrieved 21 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-05-concussion-symptoms-reversed-magnetic-therapy.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
22 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 30, 2019
Not long ago low field stimulation was considered by many to be pseudo-science, with Persinger on the receiving end of most of the criticism

May 30, 2019
I wonder if this can be used in case of vascular accidents to the brain and brain degeneration caused by old age.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more