Traumatic Brain Injury - By Lee Gerdes
From Lee Gerdes,
CEO and founder of Brain State Technologies
Every single year, some 1.7 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injury, whether in a fall, an automobile accident, by bumping into something, or being hit by an object or in an assault.
A report from government figures by Stephanie Nano of the Associated Press, which appeared February 29, 2012, reveals that 52,000 of these brain injuries result in death, while 275,000 lead to hospitalization, in many cases with persistent debilitating injury.
The answer to traumatic brain injury? Says the report, a cheap flu medicine prescribed off-label, a side effect of which is to help people recover more rapidly.
A month after the administration of the flu drug amantadine, those in the study were doing considerably better than individuals who were given a placebo. Only 17% continued in a vegetative state on amantadine, versus 32% on placebo.
Use of amantadine isn't new, but the study, which was federally funded, is a first, with results appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While amantadine makes a difference in the case of severe brain injury, it isn't known whether it would benefit those who are less severely injured. Also, it remains a question whether the drug simply speeds recovery or actually improves patients' long-term outcome.
Amantadine and other drugs prescribed off-label are used by physicians for traumatic brain injury because there simply isn't a medication specifically designed for this purpose.
Amantadine was approved for the flu in the 1960s. Administration of such a drug is based on "hunches and logic rather than data," says Dr John Whyte of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Philadelphia.
Conducted on 184 severely disabled patients with an average age of 36, the study took place in Denmark, Germany, and the United States. Improvements were described as "small but significant," with the rate of recovery faster in the amantadine group.
Neuropsychologist Joseph Giancino of Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, who co-led the study, pointed out that the four weeks during which the drug was administered was a period when victims naturally get better on their own. Making it clear that there's no information on long-term recovery, Giacino commented that the drug is valuable even if it only hastens recovery during this time when healing occurs spontaneously.
As a person who suffered brain trauma from a violent attack in San Francisco years ago, I'm in favor of whatever helps people recover. I tried a lot of protocols myself, which is of course what ultimately led me to develop Brainwave Optimization™. People with traumatic brain injuries have now used this advanced technology in considerable numbers around the world, and we have the data to show its effectiveness.
If Amantadine helps during the early stages of recovery, we know that in many cases Brainwave Optimization™ not only can be of value during this period but also enables individuals to continue their recovery long-term. This is why it's vital that our technology moves increasingly into the mainstream, being utilized as a standalone where appropriate and also alongside other effective protocols.
We've seen not just small steps taken in brain injury recovery with the use of Brainwave Optimization™, but at times amazing leaps. Little can give a person greater satisfaction in their chosen profession than to witness people who it was thought would never become conscious again return to largely normal lives. This is a joy all providers of our service worldwide are privileged to participate in.
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