Violent head blows experienced by athletes, soldiers and car accident victims may cause concussions and life-altering damage to the brain. To help these individuals, researchers are offering new therapeutic ways for victims of traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord accidents to regain the ability to coordinate thoughts and multitask.
A machine known as the Dynavision 2 assists brain trauma victims suffering from memory and concentration problems, common symptoms of TBIs. The D-2, as it’s referred to, has been used successfully for the last four years at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to help hundreds of war veterans reestablish physical and mental links that were short circuited by brain and nerve injuries.
The therapy device requires TBI victims to think and react with ever-increasing speeds by pushing buttons while answering questions. Essentially, the D-2 machine encourages the brain to rebuild response times that were shattered by TBIs.
An ex-Marine sergeant used the Dynavision 2 in therapy for several months to bounce back from a war-related head injury. The soldier was hurt in a humvee crash and suffered constant headaches, lack of focus and short-term memory lapses. It took doctors and psychologists two years to conclude the military veteran was a TBI victim.
An occupational therapist guided the soldier’s D-2 sessions, slowly encouraging the injury victim to think and act more quickly through a series of increasingly-difficult verbal prompts and coordinated button pushing. The regular 15-to-20 minute sessions noticeably improved the former Marine’s ability to see, touch and think simultaneously.
The injured serviceman said he gained more than multitasking skills by the end of the therapy and recovered confidence in himself once again.
Doctors and mental health professionals are also employing the D-2 therapy for patients who have suffered strokes. Some patients diagnosed with attention deficit disorder are also reaping benefits from the recovery tool. Car accident victims with TBIs may also someday benefit from the therapy.
Source: My Fox Atlanta, “Machine helps veterans recover from brain injuries,” Beth Galvin, Aug. 13, 2012