Concussion symptoms — such as loss of balance, hazy comprehension, sleep disturbance and ability to walk straight — can be reversed using Low Frequency Magnetic Simulation, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers suggest.
The USask team also found evidence that Low Frequency Magnetic Simulation could potentially protect the brain from future degeneration, a risk following serious concussions, they note, in a study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.
“Concussion is a major health concern affecting all sections of society from children whose brain is still developing to older people suffering falls,” says 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.”
In the study, mice were exposed to low levels of magnetic stimulation, which mimic the way brain waves oscillate, using a laptop-style device for 20 minutes per day.
Within four days of treatment, rodents with repeated concussion had their ability to perform a variety of cognition and motor tests restored to almost normal levels.
These tests included the ability to walk in a straight line, navigate a maze, run on a wheel, and perform cognitive tests.
Their body clocks, governing sleep patterns, which can be thrown out of sync by concussion, were also restored to their normal function
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. These proteins protect neurons and halt the progression of post-concussion inflammation and neurodegeneration.
In the next stages of the research program, the USask team plans to conduct longer-term tests on rodents, followed by human trials.
[Source(s): University of Saskatchewan, Science Daily]