Otherwise known as TBI, a traumatic brain injury can affect anyone and can result from a seemingly innocuous injury. However, they can have far reaching consequences.
Scientists working in Toronto Rehab have working with TBI patients and have found evidence that people with moderate to severe TBI could see a significant reduction in their symptoms as well as the physiological signs of TBI by participating in what they call “environmental enrichment”, which they define as increased social, physical and cognitive stimulation.
Headed up by Dr Robin Green, a senior scientist and clinical neuropsychologist the study looks into his theory that TBI, when chronic may be a progressive illness which could be reversed with the right treatment. He said “The conventional wisdom about moderate-serious TBI is that there is neurological damage to the brain that manifests over the course of hours and days. Then, after a period of recovery – months to years – a plateau is reached where there are no further changes to the brain.”
His team used a variety of means to study their hypothesis and he concluded “What we believe is going on, is that after a serious brain injury, damaged tissue disconnects the healthy areas of the brain. Those healthy areas are under stimulated and, over time, deteriorate.”
Using a study base of 30 patients with moderate-severe TBI issues, the team were able to show that a variety of environmental enrichments demonstrated less shrinkage of their hippocampus (the part of the brain concerned with memory impairment) when these factors were introduced in the 5 to 28 months after the first injury.