Background: Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) affects 750,000 persons in the United States annually. Five to fifteen percent have persistent dysfunction and disability. No effective, standard pharmacological treatment exists specifically for this problem. We designed a pilot research project to study the clinical effectiveness of homeopathic medicine in the treatment of persistent MTBI.
Method: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 60 patients, with a four-month follow-up (N = 50), was conducted at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (SRH). Patients with persistent MTBI (mean 2.93 years since injury, SD 3.1) were randomly assigned to receive a homeopathic medicine or placebo. The primary outcome measure was the subject-rated SRH-MBTI Functional Assessment, composed of three subtests: a Difficulty with Situations Scale (DSS), a Symptom Rating Scale (SRS), and a Participation in Daily Activities Scale (PDAS). The SRH Cognitive-Linguistic Test Battery was used as the secondary measure.
Results: Analysis of covariance demonstrated that the homeopathic treatment was the only significant or near-significant predictor of improvement on DSS subtests (P =.009; 95% CI -.895 to -.15), SRS (P =.058; 95% CI -.548 to.01) and the Ten Most Common Symptoms of MTBI (P =.027; 95% CI -.766 to -.048). These results indicate a significant improvement from the homeopathic treatment versus the control and translate into clinically significant outcomes.
Conclusions: This study suggests that homeopathy may have a role in treating persistent MTBI. Our findings require large-scale, independent replication.