September 27, 2013
A group of researchers has been quietly experimenting with how to increase recovery after a brain injury using additional stimulation, including intellectual, cognitive, physical and social stimulation.
Some of these techniques are currently being used at the Toronto Rehab and Canada Research Chair in Traumatic Brain Injury. There, neuroscientists are researching why brain injury recovery can be impeded, and focusing on the development of treatments and strategies that can help defeat the effect of such impediments.
What is interesting about this body of work at the center is that the researchers have reason to believe that moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, could actually be a progressive neurological disorder. This is obviously a very different way of looking at traumatic brain injury, and has some interesting implications for treatment down the line.
According to the neuroscientists, soon after a brain injury, the area of the brain that is damaged leaves the undamaged and healthy areas of the brain under-stimulated. Over time, these areas of the brain actually begin to deteriorate as a result of lack of use, and lack of stimulation.
The researchers found that when people were given additional stimulation especially physical, social and cognitive simulation, it helped block the deterioration of these areas of the brain.
The field of brain injury diagnosis and treatment is a vast area of study, and there are several studies being performed across the world, aiming not just to speed up diagnosis of brain injury, but also to develop treatments that can help limit the long-term effects of these injuries.
Brain injuries are some of the most frequent injuries resulting from bicycle accidents. Even a bicyclist, who is wearing a helmet, could be at risk of traumatic brain injury in an accident.