Cutting Edge Treatments For Traumatic Brain Injuries by Charles Watson
Posted on May 11, 2022
There is currently no FDA-approved cure for people who suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately, these injuries are shattering because they can often severely limit a person’s ability to function and live their daily lives without assistance. The good news for TBI-injured people is that the University of Kentucky and other medical technology establishments are at the forefront of developing some new and promising treatment methods for TBI.
Using Hyperbaric oxygen encompasses placing the TBI survivor in a pressurized chamber to directly deliver large amounts of oxygen to the victim’s body tissue. Initial trials show that this treatment can help stop cell death in a TBI victim’s injured brain.
A compound that causes mitochondrial uncoupling known as MP201 effectively reduces brain volume loss due to TBI. It also seems to affect restoring cognition even after only two weeks positively.
Mescaline, LSD, and other psychedelic drugs
TBI can often retard hippocampal neurogenesis – the process by which the body makes new neurons to swap dead ones in the hippocampus (an important structure in the brain). A dose of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs weekly seems to positively promote hippocampal neurogenesis in TBI victims’ damaged brain tissue.
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has started a brain-computer interface company called Neuralink. The company is developing a brain implant to allow victims of TBI and other neurological disorders to interact with smartphones and computers even if they don’t have full function in their limbs. This technology could open up new domains of freedom for TBI victims who are currently unable to communicate as well as before their accident.
This type of therapy includes a device that uses light patterns to alter brain chemicals that control mood and sleep patterns. Light therapy is presently being used to treat war veterans suffering from TBI and PTSD. These veterans reported that light therapy has helped improve their thinking, sleep, and mood patterns that their TBI disrupted.
Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Clinical Trials SquareFocused ultrasound is an early-stage, therapeutic technology, non-invasive with the likelihood to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with traumatic brain injury. This novel technology focuses ultrasound energy beams accurately and precisely on targets deep in the brain without damaging surrounding normal tissue. It can act as an alternative to surgery with less risk of complications, such as surgical wound healing or infection, at a relatively lower cost. It can reach the desired target without injuring surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces several therapeutic effects being evaluated. One clinical mechanism involves neuromodulation, which aims to stimulate desired neural activity. A preclinical mechanism is the temporary opening of the blood-brain barrier, which can facilitate stem cell entry, where they can multiply and differentiate. While little progress has been made, much work remains before these approaches can be widely available.
The primary options for treating traumatic brain injury include initial stabilization measures, followed by specific treatment of the injuries involved. These may include medication and surgery.
In the near future, the distressing effects of TBI might not be as restrictive as they are now. Medical technology may offer easier, more promising, and less invasive methods to cure the symptoms and discomforts associated with TBI.