Magnetic therapy used to reverse concussion symptoms
Researchers discover that 20 minutes per day of magnetic stimulation therapy can reverse concussion symptoms in rodents.
In a study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, researchers found that 20 minutes per day of magnetic stimulation produced from a laptop-style device improved the ability of rodents with concussion to walk in a straight line, run on a wheel, navigate a maze and perform cognitive tests.
“The beauty of this therapy is not only that it is effective, but that it is non-invasive, easy to use and cost-effective,” commented lead author Changiz Taghibiglou (University of Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan, Canada).
Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a public health concern, with 160,000 people suffering from brain injuries in Canada alone and 1.5 million Canadians suffering with the consequences.
An individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks can be negatively affected by concussion, as symptoms include severe headaches, loss of balance and the inability to walk straight. Dislodgement of cellular prion proteins (PrPc) and disruption of circadian rhythms have also been linked to TBI.
The team at the University of Saskatchewan exposed rodents with induced concussion to low-intensity magnetic stimulation to deep cortical and subcortical areas, which mimic the way brain waves oscillate.
Within 4 days of treatment, cognitive and motor function of the rodents with repeated concussion almost improved back to normal levels. Furthermore, sleeping patterns, which are often thrown out of synchronization by concussion, were restored to their normal function.
PrPc, which are important for protecting the brain from various neurological conditions, were restored to normal levels by the magnetic stimulation. These proteins protect neurons and halt post-concussion neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Suggesting low frequency magnetic stimulation could potentially protect the brain from future degeneration, which is a risk following serious concussion.
The researchers found that rodents with concussion that were not treated were unable to perform the behavioral and neurological tasks such as running on a wheel without falling off.
The results from this study suggest magnetic stimulation has a neuroprotective effect, which may be through regulating PrPc, and therefore has strong potential to improve patients neurological condition following TBI.
“Patients can suffer long- lasting cognitive impairments, emotional and behavioral changes. Currently, we do not have effective treatment to improve the cognitive impairment. Low frequency magnetic stimulation provides a novel option for concussion treatment,” concluded co-author Yanbo Zhang (University of Saskatchewan; Saskatchewan, Canada).
Sources: Sekar S, Zhang Y, Mahabadi HM, Parvizi A, Taghibiglou C. Low-field magnetic stimulation restores cognitive and motor functions in the mouse model of repeated traumatic brain injury: role of cellular prion protein. J. Neurotrauma. doi:10.1089/neu.2018.5918 (2019) (Epub ahead of print); https://news.usask.ca/articles/research/2019/concussion-symptoms-reversed-by-magnetic-therapy.php