In the last month we have read and heard about many new techniques being used by brain specialists around the world to treat Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Cerebral palsy, Concussions and other brain related injuries or disorders.
All of the new and different techniques use the same ideas attempting to stimulate the brain. We are taking advantage of the new knowledge and science of the brain’s neuroplasticity – our brain’s amazing ability to respond to stimulation and it’s more than surprising ways to heal itself.
One of the newest technologies in non-invasive deep brain stimulation is called GyroStim Performa. It is a patented multi-axle rotation chair and looks more like something from the latest Star Wars movie. The use of this cutting edge machine, developed in Colorado Springs, gives new hope to patients, caregivers and health professionals.
The brain is the most complex object in the universe and there are only a few pathways into the brain. When we talked about deep brain stimulation a couple months ago, we discussed invasive therapy options. Sensors were implanted in the brain to stimulate different areas with electricity. Many success stories can be found and the knowledge of the brain’s neuroplasticity has advanced.
GyroStim Performa’s non-invasive deep brain stimulation uses a pathway into the brain through the vestibular system. The vestibular apparatus is that portion of our inner ears that tells the brain where we are in space and time. This vestibular apparatus and its pathway into the brain is very important and our brain uses Gate Control to give these signals one of the highest priorities. The vestibular apparatus communicates with the brain through one of the twelve cranial nerves, the vestibulocochlear nerve.
GATE CONTROL – The brain gets signals from all over the body and uses what we call ‘Gate Control’ to filter signals and set priorities, but it always ‘listens’ to the signals from the vestibular system. Gate Control can be easily explained by the pain after we hit our elbow somewhere. Usually one of the first things we do, after we hurt our elbow is start rubbing and then moving (bending and stretching) the elbow. Why are we doing that? By rubbing the elbow, we activate the pressure and temperature sensors in the skin. By moving the elbow the motion sensors in the joints get activated. Now, the brain gets the pain signal, and the signals for pressure, temperature and motion. The pain signal has a lower priority for the brain than the pressure, temperature and motion signals. The brain ‘filters’ the signals and we don’t ‘feel’ the pain anymore.
As mentioned before, the vestibular apparatus has a very high priority for the brain and sends signals via cranial nerve VIII, the vestibulocochlear nerve, directly into the brain.
GyroStim uses this direct pathway into the brain to stimulate and activate different Brodmann Areas of the brain. BRODMANN AREAS – The German anatomist, Korbinian Brodmann, devided the brain in different regions. A Brodmann area is a region of the cerebral cortex, in the human or other primate brain, defined by its cytoarchitecture (cellular composition), or histological structure and organization of cells.
By massive activation of the vestibular apparatus by GyroStim and additional ‘tasks’ like hitting laser targets, solving math problems, identifying colors or reading words while spinning around in the GyroStim, a very deep stimulation of the brain results. We reach the point where the brain gets overwhelmed and starts its fascinating ability to improve and ‘fix’ itself. Basically, our brain starts to ‘rewire’ itself by finding new, stronger and faster connections between the different Brodmann Areas in the brain. The brain learns to communicate around insufficient areas and retrains brain cells to take over different tasks.
To activate the brain’s stunning capacity to heal itself we ‘only’ need a deep brain stimulation. Now, with the new GyroStim technology we can reach this deep stimulation without any invasive procedure and without any side effects. A new hope for people with brain injuries and brain disorders.