TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION AND POST-CONCUSSION SYNDROME
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is often an extremely debilitating consequence of mild traumatic brain injury. People who suffer concussions and mTBI develop neuropathological, neurophysiological, and neurocognitive changes, which leave the individual suffering from physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. If these symptoms persist long after the injury, their cluster of symptoms is called PCS. Without proper treatment, these symptoms can last for months or years. Even with traditional treatment, symptoms often do not fully resolve and can become permanently disabling.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has been shown to be effective in the treatment of post-concussion syndrome. In a recent study, a group of individuals suffering from post-concussion syndrome received the application of 20 Hz rTMS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for thirteen treatment sessions over three weeks. Measures of depressive symptoms, working memory, cognitive ability, and overall PCS symptom intensity were recorded at the beginning and end of treatment, as well as at one and two months following treatment. Scores were compared with a sham treatment group.
Significant improvements were found at two months post-treatment in the measurement of symptom burden using the Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire. There were no difference in scores between active and sham treatment groups immediately post-treatment, but over the next few months the active treatment group demonstrated dramatic improvement in their symptom scores.
The delayed response shown in the Rivermead scores seems to indicate that rTMS does not improve symptoms immediately after the treatment, but rather aids in long-term recovery of PCS symptoms. This demonstrates that TMS my be a uniquely effective treatment for resolving some of the persistent and debilitating consequences of post-concussion syndrome.
The full paper can be found here: