About Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in problems of cognition, behavior, emotional sensitivity, and attention. Patients can frequently become much more impulsive, appear to have poor judgment, have problems with memory or finding words, and often are not very aware of these problems. Planning and organizing can also be significant deficits (Shah et al., 2017). There are roughly two million brain injuries every year in the USA alone, and while most appear to recover completely, a substantial minority — up to 50 percent — can have enduring symptoms six months or more after the injury (Stein et al., 2016).
The vast majority of these brain injuries are mild cases. By definition, mild TBI means a loss of consciousness lasting less than 20 minutes, with a post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) of less than 24 hours. Post traumatic amnesia is defined as the period of time from the accident until there is reliable and consistent memory. Brain injuries with la longer loss of consciousness or amnesia are considered moderate or severe brain injuries.
Neurofeedback is the biofeedback method most commonly used to treat traumatic brain injury. Almost always, mild TBI is the level seen by the private practitioner; modorate or severe cases of brain injury are usually not treated with neurofeedback, although there are exceptions (Rostami et al., 2017).
Thatcher (2006) advocates obtaining a quantitative electroencephalograph (QEEG) in order to determine which of the 2500 neurofeedback variables to focus on. When the problematic sites are determined, these variables become the focus of targeted treatment. The QEEG then can be a means of scientifically noting progress in the TBI patient.
One interesting form of neurofeedback is called HEG biofeedback. This type of biofeedback trains the patient to increase their cerebral blood flow in the frontal lobe, and this is very helpful for most people who have had traumatic brain injury. In fact, this kind of biofeedback also helps with attention problems, headaches and depression.
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Rostami, R., Salamati, P., Kourosh, K. Y., Khoshnevisan, A., Saadat, S., Kamali, Z. S., Ghiasi, S., Zaryabi, A., Saeid, S., Arjipur, M., Rezaee-Zavareh, M. S., & Rahimi-Mogavar, V. (2017). Effects of neurofeedback on the short-term memory and continuous attention of patients with moderate traumatic brain injury: A preliminary randomized controlled clinical trial. Chinese Journal of Traumatology, 20(3). 125-186. doi: 10.1016/j.cjtee.2016.11.007
Shah, S. A., Goldin, Y., Conte, M. M., Goldfine, A. M., Mohamadpor, M., Fidali, B. C., Cicerone, K, &Schiff, N. D. (2017). Exeutive attention deficits after traumatic brain injury reflect impaired recruitment of resources. NeuroImage: Clinical, 14(1). 233-241. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2017.01.010
Stein, M. B., Ursano, R. J., Campbell-Sills, L., Colpe, L. J., Fullerton, C. S., Heeringa, S. G., Nock, M. K., Sampson, N. A., Schoembaum, M., Sun, X., Jain, S., Kessler, R. C. (2016). Prognostic indicators of persistent post-concussive symptoms after deployment-related mild traumatic brain injury: A prospective longitudinal study in U.S. army soldiers. Journal of Neurotrauma, 33(23). 2125-2132. doi: 10.1089/neu.2015.4320
Thatcher, R. W. (2006). Electroencephalography and mild traumatic brain injury. Foundation of Sport Related Brain Injuries. 241-265.