Neurofeedback for Traumatic Brain Injury
The Background on Traumatic Brain Injury
A brain injury can be a devastating event, not only for the person who sustains the injury, but also for their family and friends. Recovery from a brain injury poses challenges that range from mild, such as resting in a dark, low stress environment for a few days until the person is well enough again, to severe, such as re-learning how to walk, or talk.
No two injuries are exactly the same, and the effects of the injury, even a mild one, can vary from person to person. A brain injury often impacts a person's interpersonal relationships, and their self-esteem. Family members and friends are often affected as well, especially if the injury is severe. Major changes have to be made to the environment to support the individual, which can take an emotional and physical toll on loved ones.
When an injury occurs on the brain, quite often there are high theta/beta and delta/beta ratios, and an injury often involves (but not always) the frontal lobe. There can be changes in a person's mood, personality, ability to concentrate, plan, sustain attention, exhibit emotional control, and form memories. Additionally, there is a sense of loss-of-self. In many cases, the person with the brain injury remembers how they used to function; remembers the person they used to be, and now has to reconcile that old-self with their new-self. It can be a jarring experience.
Neurofeedback and Traumatic Brain Injury
Neurofeedback for mild traumatic brain injury can help improve cognition and emotion by suppressing the theta/beta waves in affected locations, or slowly reconnecting areas that have had their connections disrupted from the rest of the brain. Treatment goes slowly, and with great caution, especially if there is medication involved because if the brain has formed new connections through neuroplasticity, we say good job brain! And leave it alone.
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