Wow, I just read about testing of new therapy involving stimulation of the tongue to help create new neural pathways. See
Researchers at the Univ. of Wisconsin have achieved some pretty amazing results. I wasn't able to view the internal link, but even so, I was astounded by the improvements in MS patients. Can't wait to find out more.
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Hmmm interesting idea, i'll check it out. lol it makes me wonder if my new electric toothbrush that leaves my tongue tingling and half my mouth numb is doing some good after all? lol funny if getting an electric toothbrush becomes part of your therapy, it would have to be better for your hip pocket at least :o)
Its worth a read too and its Feb 2013 so just listed. I would like to point out that the idea of brain plasticity is inter related to the theory and in this article, it says
"The treatment involves sending specially-patterned nerve impulses to a patient's brain through an electrode-covered oral device called a "PoNS," a battery-operated appliance placed on the tongue. The 20-30 minute stimulation therapy, called cranial nerve non-invasive neuromodulation, or CN-NiNM, is accompanied with a custom set of physical, occupational, and cognitive exercises, based on the patient's deficits. The idea is to improve the brain's organizational ability and allow the patient to regain neural control."
If this devise/theory is being tested whilst people are 'also' getting cognitive, speech, physio etc therapies targeted to their individual needs, its not going to do much to prove the devise 'is' responsible for any recovery/improvements. From my perspective and understanding of brain plasticity, targeted therapies are suppose to be generating alternate neuro pathways and producing improvements so i'm not sure how they can measure accurately the tongue connection, without taking out all other factors that are already proven.
Jj, my late wife was given a box, roughly a 10-inch cube, that was supposed to stimulate regrowth of bone after having her heel surgically repaired (at age 55; not sure if that was a factor). It made no noise, carried its own batteries, didn't warm up, move, turn colors, or light up. We were told that, after 40 treatments, we were to toss it in the trash.
Well, I was told that. She was still anaesthetized.
Anyway, she always figured it was snake oil, just something else for which somebody found the insurance.companies would pay. Oh, did I mention that she spent much of her life as a health insurance claims analyst?
According to the article "....patients with multiple sclerosis have been shown to have a 50 percent improvement in postural balance, 55 percent improvement in walking ability, a 30 percent reduction in fatigue, and 48 percent reduction in M.S. impact scores (a measure of physical and psychological impact of M.S. from the patient’s perspective)."
I doubt it will ever be available to someone my age but I'd certainly give it a try for improvement like that! Those numbers are impressive on their own but keep in mind:
They are talking about:
LASTING improvements (it doesn't disappear when the therapy ends)
SUBSTANTIAL gains (more than would be expected with PT/OT alone)
POTENTIAL to restore previously lost function (not just delay further loss)
Brain stimulators spinal stimulators, bladder stimulators and TENS units are already used by MS patients. Why not stimulate the cranial nerves? They influence SO many functions. I think this could be a great idea. If I'm willing (and able) to do the therapy exercises, don't gag on the stimulator and keep up with my DMD I might gain long lasting improvements as well as fewer relapses in the future. It’s movement forward!
Here's my biggest concern. Since this therapy is designed to coax the brain to form new neural pathways..... We really, really, really need a way to make sure MS won't start attacking the new stuff once it's in place!
Oh -- Don't be shy to try either link that was given. Both worked fine for me.
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I hope your late wife used that box because they do stimulate bone growth. Bone is living tissue. In fact it's very vascular. The cells within bone are in a constant process of being replaced. It’s called restructuring. Lose too much of the old without laying down some new and you get osteoporosis.
Sometimes the process of building and repairing bone needs some help. Stimulators use electrical or ultrasonic energy to do that. I'm not sure if your toothbrush will do the trick.
Did you ever notice the nice growth spurt garden tomatoes get after a good thunderstorm? I believe it's the lightening that does it :)
I do admit I use a TENS unit for my back pain, despite my pacemaker.
I usually have it around the waist area of my back. It helps when spasms
are more than my baclofen can handle and I don't want to increase the dosage but yeah, doubt it will be available for people of our age, two pack and I. But we do need something....
Considering the enormously positive benefits from this trial, I was a little surprised that there haven't been more comments. I guess I should have done as twopack did and quote the actual statistics.
I wouldn't be so pessimistic about the availability of tongue stimulation to us oldsters in the MS community. It doesn't sound too complicated or expensive, and it's not invasive. What's not to like? I gather the worst that could happen is no effect. In any event, I'll bet this will be a big agenda item this year for the meetings of MS medical practitioners.
Right now I sure could use the help. Pain level is bad, but fortunately for me that's rather rare.
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