TMS Therapy May Wake Up Comatose TBI Patients
In July 2011 Dr. Theresa Pape announced that by using a series of TMS treatments she had significantly increased alertness in Josh Villa, a father of 3 children left in a deep coma after an auto accident 6 years before. TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation uses a coil to send harmless magnetic pulses into the brain, and it has been used effectively to reduce depression. Thanks to TMS Mr. Villa is now able to raise his head, look at other people and utter a few simple words (“Mom,” “Help me,” and “Pain”). Dr. Pape theorizes that TMS activated dormant neurons in his brain, causing them to send their axons into the brainstem and rebuild the damaged RAS (reticular activating system) required for conscious alertness. She will try the therapy on three other patients in the coming years.