Many Patients With Brain Injuries Find Success with Non-Medical Care

From an April 2, 2003 article from "Health Scout News" and published on Drkoop.com comes the headline, "Alternative Medicine a Plus for Brain Injuries". This article reported on findings presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting. The findings showed that many people with "traumatic brain injuries" were also using, what the researchers referred to as "alternative medicine". For the purposes of this study, the researchers considered all non-medical care to be "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" or "CAM".

Researchers interviewed 130 people with traumatic brain injury treated at the University of Michigan's Trauma Burn Center. They were asked if they'd used alternative health care to help them with their injuries. More than half of them said they'd used at least one form of alternative healthcare, while more than a third said they'd used at least two.

According to the study the most commonly used procedures used by the people interviewed were massage therapy, meditation, herbal medicine and chiropractic care. Massage therapy and chiropractic care were used by the brain injury patients to treat their pain, while meditation was used for affective disorders and herbal medicines for cognitive defects.

Interestingly enough, the study showed that the majority of these patients are not discussing that with their medical doctors. "A lot of patients are embarrassed to tell their doctors, while others don't even realize that the vitamin supplements and other substances they are using can be as active as drugs, which can affect their medical treatment. As a physician, this makes me more aware of the fact that I need to ask my patients about any possible CAM use," study author Sharon McDowell, MD. Regardless of medical concerns, the study clearly reported that 80 percent of the people interviewed believed that the non-medical care they received was effective.