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article imageBreakthrough military study results for concussion announced

By Tim Sandle     May 20, 2019 in Science
New research on the first highly-scalable intervention for mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI) -- commonly from concussions and blast exposures -- has been presented at the 9th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference in Washington, D.C
With the study, researchers at five military and veterans’ medical centers ran a series of studies funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, to examine the efficacy of a computerized, brain-training program (called BrainHQ). The large Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which was one of the five military hospitals in which the study took place. The aim was to assess the program as part on mechanisms to address persistent cognitive deficits in patients diagnosed with mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI).
Such research is important, given that over 300,000 members of the US military have received an mTBI diagnosis. In most cases, service members experience a full recovery from a “mild” TBI. However, for those who do not recover, cognitive consequences can persist for years with life-altering results. The military has identified mTBI as the “signature injury” of recent conflicts and a major “unmet medical need.”
The study participants were randomized into an intervention group (using the BrainHQ program) and an active control group (who used computer games). Each group self-administered training in their own homes (supported by telephone supervision from trained coaches) and were asked to train for 5 hours per week for 12 weeks. The results showed those who trained using BrainHQ had a clinically and statistically significant improvement in the overall cognitive measure, as compared to the control group – with a gain that was nearly 4 times greater after training and that grew to nearly 5 times greater after 12-week no-training follow-up period.
This means that an average participant moved from the 50th to the 74th percentile. An advantage with the method means that the digital nature of the training means that it quickly personalizes, is highly-scalable, and can reach people even in remote locations. The study results were presented at the 9th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference in Washington DC.
More about concussion, Head injury, Brain damage, Medical
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