TMS for a Traumatic Brain Injury
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury, which disrupts the normal function of the brain. Traumatic Brain Injury can occur when the head violently hits an object, or when an object penetrates the skull and enters into and damages brain tissue.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. In the past 10 years, the number of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths has increased by almost 60% to 3.0 million per year, currently. Tragically, almost 1.0 million of these TBI events occur among children. 1
Those who survive a TBI can experience symptoms that last from only a few days to the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impairments related to thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but also can have lasting effects on families and communities.
While everyone is at risk for a TBI, children and older adults are especially vulnerable.
What are the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
The physical and cognitive symptoms of TBI can include impairments of the following:
- Thinking or Memory
- Physical Movement
Mental or Emotional symptoms of TBI can include:
- Personality Changes
Sadly, these TBI related impairments not only significantly affect the individual, who experienced the TBI, but the families, loved ones, and communities that surround him/her, as well.
What are the leading causes of TBI?
- Falls are the leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury, accounting for almost 50% of all TBI’s. Falls disproportionately affect children and older adults:
- Being struck by or against an object was the second leading cause of TBI’s.
What are Diffuse Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic Brain Injuries can cause microscopic changes that cannot be detected on CT scans, which are scattered throughout the brain. This class of injury is called diffuse brain injury.
Diffuse axonal injury refers to impaired function and gradual loss of some axons, which are the long extensions of a nerve cell that enable these cells to communicate with each other even if they are located in parts of the brain that are far apart. If enough axons are injured in this way, then the ability of these brain nerve cells to communicate with each other to integrate their function may be lost or greatly impaired, which can result in severe disabilities.
How Does TMS Treat Traumatic Brain Injury?
There has existed no physical or structural treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury, beyond emergency treatment to minimize compounding damage to brain tissues.
Medications are prescribed to prevent blood clotting, relieve pain, and mitigate mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. However, these medications are often largely unsuccessful, and they have undesirable side effects.
TMS stimulates the dysfunctional and surrounding brain cells in an effort to increase their activity, connectivity, plasticity, and to induce cortical (the most highly developed part of the brain) reorganization through stimulation-induced alterations in neuronal (brain cell) excitability. Our San Diego Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center provides TMS Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injuries.
TMS benefits include:
- High Success Rate – considerably higher success rate than any other treatments
- Non-Invasive – the treatment is entirely external to the body
- Non-Sedative – it requires no sedation and is relatively painless
- Minimal to No Side Effects – it has no side effects in the vast majority of patients
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