We’re all familiar with the idea of shrugging off a headache, but what about a head injury?
A new study finds that a brain injury can be treated with a brain shrug, and it can be done in just 30 seconds.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology-Clinical Neuroscience, found that people who underwent a head-shrug on their brain using a portable head-mounted ultrasound device (HMDS) were significantly less likely to have a head pain after surgery compared to people who did not use the device.
“We knew that patients who had a brain fracture were more likely to suffer from headaches and to experience cognitive impairment, but the underlying mechanism was unclear,” said Dr. Andrew L. Gao, the lead author of the study.
“Our aim was to understand the mechanism behind this phenomenon, and to identify whether the shruggable effect of a brain wave could be useful in the treatment of patients with acute brain injury.”
Dr. Gai Chen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, said the findings were a breakthrough.
“This is the first time that we’ve shown that you can do it with a handheld HMDS, which has the capability to detect and quantify the position of the head, and then translate this into a head shruger,” he said.
“It’s very exciting because it’s a way to reduce cognitive impairment and potentially improve the quality of life of people who have a brain concussion.”
Dr Gao and his colleagues found that, in addition to the potential benefit of reducing the severity of headache and cognitive impairment caused by a concussion, the device also alleviated the symptoms of depression.
“The fact that we were able to find a way of using this device in this way, in terms of its clinical applications, is a really important first step towards improving brain function and cognitive function,” Dr. Chen said.
Dr. Gaos and his team plan to continue their research on the brain shrug and hope to develop a more powerful HMD in the future.
“It’s a real world application, it’s not a theoretical application,” Dr Gao said.