Traumatic Brain Injury

Since the 1980s, Margaret Ayers has reported several studies successfully using NF to bring patients out of long-standing coma states and, in some instances, to help those with stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) return to premorbid levels of function. Several NF clinicians such as Daniel Hoffman and Steven Stockdale have published evidence that the majority of TBI clients undergoing NF treatment report improvement in cognitive functioning, headaches, and/or ability to relax along with significant normalization of EEG. Whereas these reports often have been considered incredible by mainline medicine, they seem less surprising in view of scientific evidence for nerve regeneration or neural reorganization and recovery of neurological function even in older adults. Given the fact that strokes, TBI, and other neurological disorders (depending on age, location of injury, etc.) can result in an almost infinite variety of EEG disturbances and behavioral disorders, it is not surprising that there is little consensus among NF clinicians regarding best treatment protocols. Some note the finding that excessive EEG slowing (as evidenced by abnormal increases in d, 0, and/or low a frequency amplitude) occurs at sites of brain injury and, accordingly, train for increased amplitude of higher (SMR or b) frequencies and/or decreases in lower frequency amplitudes at those sites. Others note the intra- and interhemispheric disconnections of neural communication that often occur in brain injury from shear and strain forces on short- and long-distance nerve fibers (and other factors), resulting in abnormal EEG coherence among certain sites. These clinicians tend to emphasize training to normalize QEEG coherence measures. Certainly it would seem that the wide variety of EEG abnormalities resulting from TBI and neurological disease requires QEEG or traditional EEG assessment prior to selecting a NF protocol for those type disorders. Whereas some practitioners have reported obvious and significant improvements in TBI clients after as few as 2-5 sessions (even years posttrauma), the experienced therapists surveyed reported needing an average of 53 treatment sessions (range = 30-80) for optimal success. Whereas much more quality research obviously is needed, the many clinical reports of NF successes with certain clients point toward its promise as a major form of treatment for TBI and other neurological disorders.

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