What are some of the newer techniques of integrative neurology and how can they help you?
There are a number of emerging techniques for treating chronic conditions that are truly “new and innovative”. One technique that we have been implementing into our treatment plans is transcranial direct current brain stimulation or tDC for short. Simply put, this treatment involves applying a very mild electrical current (similar to a battery) on the scalp. We use scalp acupuncture points.
Research shows that using the different polarities of direct current stimulation over the scalp at specific acupuncture point locations can actually change the metabolism of the brain. The positive pole increasing metabolism in the brain regions under the scalp electrode and the negative pole decreasing metabolism in those parts of the brain that are overactive. It sounds a little scary, but direct current stimulation has a long history if use in brain research. It is part of a larger field called neuromodulation. In general, this means to modify nerve activity, usually with electricity, for the purpose of correcting abnormal nerve function. The technique has tremendous potential for stroke rehabilitation. It is effective for chronic pain control, particularly for nerve related pain. It may suppress involuntary movements like tremors, like those seen in Parkinson ’s disease and in cervical dystonia. Best of all it is extremely safe and a very mild form of stimulation. Only a few (and minor) side effects have been reported. It is a “new” therapy that is supported by a large body of scientific research.