I recently attended the inaugural ‘Frontiers in Traumatic Brain Injury Conference‘ hosted at Imperial College.
Dr Peter Jenkins (Imperial College London): ‘Stratifying treatment with methylphenidate’.
He has undertaken research as to whether this drug can help treat cognitive difficulties associated with a traumatic brain injury.
He found that the response to treatment was variable with difficulty in predicting who will do well and who will not. Primarily due to the fact that as every individual is different, every traumatic brain injury is different.
What is clear is that we cannot treat every brain injured victim the same, the treatment must obviously be tailored to the individual.
Dr Jenkins also used techniques to assess whether methylphenidate increased processing speed for those suffering from traumatic brain injury. In some case this was increased.
Potential great news for those with a Traumatic Brain Injury.
Dr Lucia Li (Imperial College London) also discussed treatment in the form of electrical brain stimulation to help with cognitive rehabilitation. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) involves two electrodes being attached to the skull and an electrical current is passed between them.
The results of her research at this stage are inconclusive as to whether this will definitely help those with cognitive difficulties, but it did help some individuals.
Again what is clear is that any treatments must be tailored to each individual. In my work as a personal injury solicitor one of the most difficult aspects of my role is securing funding for an individual to have much needed treatment. This research by those at Imperial is essential in understanding and treating their brain injured patients..
I look forward to next year’s conference as we hope further advances are continued to be made.