Journal of Science and Medicine Abstract by William Pawluk
Traumatic brain injury or concussion have been an ever present medical challenge for me as a doctor for over 40 years. The solutions to the problem today are little different than they were when I 1st learned about this problem in medical school. The biggest difference is that mild TBI, given the developing sophistication of medical knowledge, is now seen as a very important problem that needs to be dealt with sooner than later. In the past only more serious brain injuries took our attention, typically those that involved admissions to intensive care for coma. Now we know that mild TBI, especially recurrent mild TBI’s leave very significant marks in the brain that result in major disability. The consequences of these TBI’s of been brought to the fore recently with sports concussions.
Given that most of the therapies for mild to moderate TBI’s are essentially adaptive, they help the body or person to cope or adapt to their disabilities, new approaches to managing this important condition are necessary. Modern evidence now suggests that even though somebody has recovered from their concussion, there are residual long-term effects in the brain. Other evidence indicates that the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields, of various kinds, early in the injury process helps to decrease one of the major aspects of the injury, which is inflammation in the brain. The inflammation then causes all sorts of short-circuiting of brain function eventually leading to the symptoms, not only those seen in short-term, but also long-term: headaches, dizziness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc., etc. Additional evidence now also tells us that pulsed electromagnetic field therapies can help with, not only the injury itself, but also many of the symptoms resulting from it. In other words, PEMFs are not only useful for symptom management in the person suffering from TBI/concussion, but also have the opportunity to actually heal the brain to reverse the long-term effects of brain damage.
Medical management today, especially with medication, is reserved for symptomatic management of the consequences of TBI, such as depression, headaches, memory issues, dizziness, etc. As such, therefore, medical management has very little role in helping people with TBI other than facilitating adaptation and symptom management.
So, while there is evidence that pulsed magnetic fields, which reach deep into the brain and help all layers and areas of the brain without risk or side effects, there is a need for growing the medical knowledge base about the use of PEMFs for concussion/TBI, including establishing protocols for different PEMF systems for intensity, time and duration of treatment, frequency of treatment, and frequencies that are best used. It appears that even very high intensity PEMFs used for extended periods of time produce virtually no adverse effects on the brain and may even decrease the risk of future cancer development and the development of Alzheimer’s/dementia.