Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Traumatic Brain Injury

Jun 30, 2022 | Uncategorized

According to the CDC there are 1.7 million Traumatic Brain Injuries a year with an estimated 10-20% of cases experiencing lifeling symptoms.

A recent paper found a positive improvement to working memory and attention issues caused by TBI. Brain function measured through EEG scans and neuropsych testing showed a positive effect from using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.

Fortunately there are several noninvasive brain stimulation devices that have research showing the beneficial effects they have on improving TBI symptoms and brain activity based on QEEG assessment.

One device that we use in clinic is Trans-cranial Direct current stimulation (TDCS) which involves placing 2 sponges in specific areas on your head. The positive side has been shown to improve activity in the brain by making it easier for the neurons in the area to activate, essentially giving the area a boost to make it easier for the neurons to fire.

In recent years, there has been a burgeoning interest in several
methods of noninvasive brain stimulation as promising therapeutic interventions for modulating brain activity in beneficial ways
(Demirtas-Tatlidede et al., 2011; Villamar et al., 2012). One of these
techniques, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) uses
weak electrical current applied to the scalp to alter transmembrane
potentials of neurons toward either greater depolarization or
greater hyperpolarization, depending upon the direction of current
flow. Anodal stimulation is known to shift neural membrane
potentials toward greater depolarization, resulting in increased
neural firing rates and hence increased cortical excitability.
Cathodal stimulation, on the other hand, moves the membrane
potential toward greater hyperpolarization, thereby decreasing
neural firing rates and decreasing cortical excitability (Williams
et al., 2009; Zaghi et al., 2010).

Below is an example of a QEEG brain scan which we use in clinic to identify which areas of the brain have been effected by the TBI so we can use the TDCS most effectively.

Here is an example of what TDCS looks like.

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