Treating TBI through Tongue Stimulation

By on 12-23-2013 in Technology

The human tongue may play yet another very important role besides enabling man to speak with clarity and taste food, that is, reversing the incapacitating effects of traumatic brain injury or TBI. This therapeutic role of the tongue was discovered by scientists at the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It involves a treatment process that is expected to greatly improve the condition of people suffering from different types of brain injuries.

The human tongue has sensory receptors that are attached to the nervous system; some even go straight to the brain. By stimulating these sensory receptors through the use of the Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator, or PoNS, brain functioning is found to have gotten better.

PoNS is a battery-powered electronic device intended to treat traumatic brain injuries which cause prolonged impairments to a person’s balance, coordination and memory. It was actually used to treat over 250,000 US soldiers between 2000 and 2012.