brain sciences logoA recent article published in Brain Sciences, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal on neuroscience, gives cautiously optimistic hope that non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) may positively affect people with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The systematic review and meta-analysis aggregated and examined the treatment effect of NIBS (transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation) on cognitive functions in people with TBI. A systematic search was conducted using databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, PsycINFO, EMBASE) for studies with keywords related to non-randomized and randomized control trials of NIBS among people with TBI. Nine out of 1790 NIBS studies with 197 TBI participants that met the criteria of the present study were selected for meta-analysis using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software. Results showed that the overall effect of NIBS on cognition in people with TBI was moderately significant (g = 0.304, 95% CI = 0.055 to 0.553) with very low heterogeneity across studies (I2 = 0.000, Tau = 0.000). Specifically, significant and marginally significant moderate effect sizes were found for cognitive sub-domains, including attention, memory, and executive function. The present findings suggest that NIBS is moderately effective in improving cognitive functions among people with TBI. In particular, NIBS may be used as an alternative or an adjunct treatment to the traditional approach in rehabilitating cognitive functions in people with TBI.

Though NIBS is not one of the BART Foundation’s approved alternatives, it warrants watching closely for further clinical studies. Fingers crossed.

To read the full article visit the Brain Sciences website.