Improved function after deep brain stimulation for chronic, severe traumatic brain injury
Categories: Recovery - Long Term
Past studies have found
1.7 million Americans are treated for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. Most TBI’s are mild but those who have moderate or severe injuries are more likely to have long-term challenges and disabilities including problems controlling behavior and emotions, difficulty with thinking and memory, and impaired movement and sensation. Impaired emotional and behavioral self-control is common in individuals with TBI. The ability to control one’s emotions and behavior
This study focused on how to address difficulties in executive function through
In the current study, four individuals with a history of severe TBI (between 6-21 years earlier) were implanted with electrodes in the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain known to be related to motivation and goal-directed behavior. Each of the participants
Two-years after implantation, three of four participants achieved clinically significant improvement in independent functioning. Moreover, all four participants showed improvement in their adjustment (related to mood, initiation, appropriateness of social interactions, and self-awareness). Notably, cognitive abilities improved and then later declined. It is thought that cognitive improvements were not sustained because of lack of continued training. Two of four participants required less assistance in their daily activities and showed greater ability to adapt to and cope with disability and daily stressors. Three of four participants increased their involvement in activities outside of the home. Improvements were also subjectively observed in areas of alertness and engagement.
Results of this study suggest that DBS targeting the nucleus accumbens can be performed safely for individuals with severe disability due to TBI. The greatest benefits of DBS for this population will most likely occur when stimulation is received
Who may be affected by these findings?
Individuals with TBI, their loved ones, and individuals with diminished executive functioning abilities due to other conditions (e.g. mental illness).
This is the first study examining the
DBS may be an effective treatment for the
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Find This Study
Rezai, A.R. et al. (2015). Improved function after deep brain stimulation for chronic, severe traumatic brain injury. Neurosurgery, 0, 1-7.