For many who have experienced a mild or moderate brain injury (mmTBI), the impact can last much longer than expected. In Canada alone, approximately 1.5 million people live with the effects of their acquired brain injury.
The good news? Thanks to advances in science and technology, healthcare professionals know more about brain injuries now than ever before – from prevention to treatment.
One of these options is PoNS Treatment™.
A recently published study1 investigated the effectiveness of the PoNS Treatment™, which pairs translingual neurostimulation with therapeutic activities for those who have experienced an mmTBI and suffer with chronic balance deficit. The PoNS™ is a novel device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to the nerves of the tongue, which connect with nerves in the brain. The process may promote neuroplastic healing, rebuilding the connections in the brain damaged by the injury, and may result in improvements of balance and gait.
The researchers followed 43 study participants through their 14-week PoNS Treatment™ program. All participants experienced an mmTBI over one year before they began treatment and had ‘plateaued’ or seen little recent progress in their recovery. Their mild to moderate TBI diagnoses were made based on guidelines established by Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense. The diagnosis of a balance disorder caused by an mmTBI and a SOT (Sensory Organization Test) composite score of greater than or equal to 16 points below normal after adjustment for age were also requirements to participate in the study.
The Treatment Program
In the 26-week study, inclusive of the 14-week trial, participants completed three stages:
- Stage One: 2 Weeks –Participants completed two PoNS™ training sessions daily under the supervision of a physical therapist and one session per day at home.
- Stage Two: 12 Weeks – Participants completed PoNS™ training sessions six days per week at home, and once per week at the clinic for a training program update.
- Stage Three: 12 Weeks – The 14 weeks were followed by a 12-week washout period, returning to normal daily activity with no further PoNS™ training sessions, before returning for final testing.
Through the process, the participant’s activity at home was stored on the PoNS™ device and monitored by Certified PoNS™ Trainers. The treatment program included:
- Walking on a treadmill
- Balancing on the floor or on foam padding
- Movement exercises
- Breathing and awareness
Of the 43 original participants, 39 completed the 14-week PoNS Treatment™. Of these 39, approximately 74% experienced significant improvement in their balance2 (defined by an improvement of 15 points or greater on Sensory Organization Test, “SOT”, exam) and showed meaningful improvements in their gait and walking endurance1. Not only were these improvements evident, the outcomes were sustained for 12 weeks after discontinuing treatment.
Learn More and Stay in Touch with PoNS™
While researchers continue to study and improve the PoNS Treatment™ process, this research demonstrates the effectiveness of the PoNS™ device, when paired with physical exercise, to meaningfully improve the balance and gait of most patients who have plateaued after their mmTBI. To review the process and results in more detail, see the published journal article.
To learn more about PoNS Treatment™ in Canada and to book a 15-minute consultation with an Authorized PoNS Treatment™ clinic near you, visit our website. Stay up to date on all of our biggest news and exciting information by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn and sharing our posts!
References: 1. Tyler M, et al. Arch Res Rehabil Clin Transl. 2019; 1(3-4):10026. 2. Helius Medical Technologies. Data on File. 2019 Post Hoc Analysis – Long Term Treatment Trial – Responder rate – Pharma Data Associates