Many families of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) victims are beginning to recognize that their doctors do not typically offer alternative treatment options, even though they may provide the most benefit to the injured person. So families are seeking out natural medicine and alternative therapies that they believe will be more effective. Although little research exists to prove the effectiveness of many alternative treatments, the same can be said for traditional TBI medicine.
Standard TBI Treatments Not Proven Effective
A report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies indicates that cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT), the primary method of treatment given to TBI patients, is not as effective as doctors would like to believe. According to the report, “The committee concludes that current evidence provides limited support for the efficacy of CRT interventions.” The report goes on to explain that every brain, every patient and every injury is different from every other. For this reason, every patient requires a customized approach.
Some treatments, such as keeping a diary to improve memory, have shown universal effectiveness. Social and memory centered treatments are also helpful for most patients, but no specific treatment proved itself more successful than any other. Families that do not consider alternate treatments may wonder why their loved ones take so long to recover. For this reason, considering all available treatments is important.
The New York Times reported on this issue as well, explaining why so few treatments have been proven effective. When reporters spoke to Weill Cornell Medical College neuroscientist Dr. Nicholas Schiff, he told them, “Because there’s no infrastructure, no organized plan of attack for what happens after a brain injury, at all stages, you’re simply not going to find many large, well-designed studies,” he said.
Potential Alternative Therapies for TBI
In a group study by the New York University School of Medicine, The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, researchers addressed the problem, noting, “Despite the enormity of the problem, few data exist regarding effective treatments beyond the very acute period.” Their report describes alternative therapies that should be studied as potentially helpful treatments, including:
- Herbal supplements
- Hyperbaric oxygen
- EEG-based therapy
- Craniosacral therapy
- Arts and recreational therapies
- Mindfulness and meditation practice
- Tai Chi Chuan
- Ayurvedic medicine
Studies on the outcome from these treatments are sparse, much like their conventional treatment counterparts. Since neither conventional nor alternative treatments are proven superior, it makes sense for families to consider a wide range of treatments for a loved one with a TBI.
If you or someone you know suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident or other unfortunate incident, you need to know your options. The time to file a claim is limited, so contact our office immediately. Our attorneys will answer your questions and help you recover financial compensation to which you may be entitled.