A pilot treatment study for mild traumatic brain injury: Neuroimaging changes detected by MEG after low-intensity pulse-based transcranial electrical stimulation

Brain Inj. 2017;31(13-14):1951-1963. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1363409. Epub 2017 Sep 19.


Background: Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a leading cause of sustained impairments in military service members, Veterans, and civilians. However, few treatments are available for mTBI, partially because the mechanism of persistent mTBI deficits is not fully understood.

Methods: We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neuronal changes in individuals with mTBI following a passive neurofeedback-based treatment programme called IASIS. This programme involved applying low-intensity pulses using transcranial electrical stimulation (LIP-tES) with electroencephalography monitoring. Study participants included six individuals with mTBI and persistent post-concussive symptoms (PCS). MEG exams were performed at baseline and follow-up to evaluate the effect of IASIS on brain functioning.

Results: At the baseline MEG exam, all participants had abnormal slow-waves. In the follow-up MEG exam, the participants showed significantly reduced abnormal slow-waves with an average reduction of 53.6 ± 24.6% in slow-wave total score. The participants also showed significant reduction of PCS scores after IASIS treatment, with an average reduction of 52.76 ± 26.4% in PCS total score.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates, for the first time, the neuroimaging-based documentation of the effect of LIP-tES treatment on brain functioning in mTBI. The mechanisms of LIP-tES treatment are discussed, with an emphasis on LIP-tES's potentiation of the mTBI healing process.

Keywords: Flexyx neurotherapy system; low energy neurofeedback system; magnetoencephalography; slow-wave.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / therapy*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation*
  • Veterans