Brain State Technologies announces that a series of young athletes with long-term symptoms after concussion showed a variety of lasting improvements, after using HIRREM neurotechnology. At three months, the athletes maintained their reduction of symptoms, and they had all returned to full physical exercise. The study findings were presented at the American Academy of Neurology Sports Concussion Conference that was held July 8-10, 2016 in Chicago.

Concussion from sports or recreation often leads to headache, sleep disturbance, nausea, cognitive difficulties, depression, or other symptoms. While the majority of concussed athletes recover within a few days, roughly ten percent of them go on to have symptoms that last for weeks, months, or longer. The study included nineteen participants, who had concussion symptoms for an average of five and one half months, before using HIRREM.

HIRREM is an acronym for high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring. It is a noninvasive computer-based methodology developed by Lee Gerdes, CEO of Brain State Technologies and former Silicon Valley software engineer. The technology applies software algorithms to translate brain frequencies into sound frequencies—audible tones—that are returned to the user in real-time, for the intended use of supporting the brain to self-optimize its electrical activity patterns.

A majority of the athletes in the study went back to participation in their competitive sport. There were also durable changes in variability of their heart rates, suggesting enhanced capacity for the heart to make rapid, adaptive adjustments in its pumping function. In a portion of the group that also underwent reaction testing before and after the HIRREM sessions, there were significant improvements on average. Reaction time is typically slowed after concussion.

Sung Lee, MD, MSc, MPhil, director of research at Brain State Technologies and a co-investigator on the study, says in a release: “Concussion presents challenges not only to the brain but also the body, since the brain is the organ of central command. We were excited for these athletes that their improvements were not only in self-reported symptoms, but also the objective measures of heart rate variability, reaction time, and return to play.”

In the United States, it has been estimated that up to 190,000 individuals develop persisting symptoms each year, from a concussion that happened during sports or recreation. Professional guidelines state that return to competition should not depend on use of medications that may mask symptoms that would otherwise prevent an athlete’s return to play. Not only can persisting symptoms after concussion put individuals at risk for an end to their athletic careers, they may be severe enough to prevent participation in non-athletic activities.

Concern about the symptoms and potential long-term effects of athletic concussion has increased in recent years, partly from recognition of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes, including National Football League (NFL) players, who have been exposed to repeated head impacts.

In other clinical studies, the “closed loop” of information exchange created by HIRREM has been associated with greater symmetry in brain electrical activity, improved sleep, reduction in symptoms from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other benefits.