A small pilot study of male
and female high school- and college-age athletes found improvement in persisting
post-concussion symptoms after undergoing High-resolution, relational,
resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM®).
HIRREM is a technology developed by and licensed to Brain
State Technologies, Scottsdale, Ariz. It uses software algorithms to translate
the brain’s electrical frequencies into audible tones of variable pitch and
timing. These “brain sounds” are mirrored to the user in real time via ear buds,
permitting the brain to continuously update itself with respect to its own
activity patterns, resulting in auto-calibration or self-optimization,
typically with shifts towards improved balance, and reduced hyperarousal.
“Until now there has been little to provide relief for the
10 to 15 percent of athletes with concussion symptoms that last three weeks or
more,” said Charles
H. Tegeler, M.D., professor of neurology at Wake Forest
School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study. “These symptoms can
include headache, dizziness, insomnia, depression, anxiety, irritability,
exercise intolerance, and lack of focus and concentration to the point where
normal function is affected.”
Wake Forest Baptist
Medical Center’s research, published recently in the
journal Sports Medicine Open, followed 15 male and female students who had a
concussion while participating in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cycling,
football, gymnastics, lacrosse, snowboarding and soccer, and afterward
developed symptoms that did not resolve after three to four weeks – a normal
recovery period. Symptoms had persisted
on average for 4.6 months after their most recent concussion.
Study participants received, on average, 18 HIRREM sessions
and their symptoms were measured before starting, and after completing the sessions.
Blood pressure and heart rate recordings were also obtained to evaluate
autonomic regulation of heart and vascular function, and reaction testing was performed.
The study results showed statistically significant reduction
of all symptoms, with improvement in autonomic cardiovascular control and reaction
testing. All participants were able to return to exercise, academic work, and
recreational activities. Importantly, the majority of study participants were
able to return to play in their respective sports.
“While this study is limited by its size and had no
control group,” said Tegeler, “We believe it is significant because the
participants not only had reduced symptoms, and other objective improvements, but
most were able to get back to play. While there has been a lot of focus on the diagnosis
of concussion, understanding the mechanisms of the injury, and trying to
prevent them, there has been very little done in the way of therapeutics or
treatment of persisting concussion symptoms. Over the past five years, we have
enrolled over 400 participants in five clinical studies evaluating
the use of HIRREM that largely shows improvement in a variety of symptom and conditions,
with no important side effects, and without medications.”
on the study are Christopher M. Miles, M.D., Hossam A. Shaltout, Ph.D., Sean L.
Simpson, Ph. D., Jared F. Cook, M.A. and Catherine L. Tegeler, B.S., from Wake
Forest Baptist and Sung W. Lee, M.D. and Lee Gerdes from Brain State
This study was
supported by a research grant from The Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Inc.