Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

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Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

Postby MSUK » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:37 am

Image

Kurt Shafer is walking stronger and more confidently than he has in years, and he credits an experimental electronic device he uses five times a day.

"The fact that I have improved is really the hope that people need to go on living," said Shafer.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years ago, Shafer recently enrolled in a clinical study at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

MS is an autoimmune disorder which damages the nervous system and interrupts signals between the brain and the muscles.......

Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1430
MS-UK - http://www.ms-uk.org/
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:54 am

Well I have seen some odd things in MS research....but this is really odd! But if it helps, why not.
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Re: Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

Postby NHE » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:21 am

Wonderfulworld wrote:Well I have seen some odd things in MS research....but this is really odd! But if it helps, why not.


It's not so odd actually. You may want to read the book "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Dr. Norman Doidge.

Here are some prior posts...

Neuroplasticity
post35000.html#p35000

Learning to see with your tongue
post33946.html#p33946

Re: Brainport: The electric tongue stimulator for balance
post149350.html#p149350


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Postby Wonderfulworld » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:21 am

NHE those threads are fascinating, I read them right through. Going to order that book too. I don't know how I missed them first time around, perhaps it was because my son was about a year old at the time.

I find it really compelling, the brain plasticity concept, because I suppose my driving force is a constant desire to learn new things. I have constantly learnt and pushed my learning since diagnosis - even before that, in truth I've always been driven. I have many symptoms but some have lessened or resolved even years later. I have constantly attempted to exercise deficits and weaknesses. Having had to give up fulltime work I've taken up learning a language and returning more intensively to gym/pilates/yoga/walking.
Perhaps my bloody-mindedness has served me very well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Re: Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

Postby CureOrBust » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:41 pm

NHE wrote:It's not so odd actually. You may want to read the book "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Dr. Norman Doidge.
With the little information that is supplied with how it helps MS. I still think its odd, in that the "seeing with the tongue" makes sense in that they are "training" the brain to use a different receptor to interpret vision. However, this MS one appears to be simply some kind of random stimulation of the tongue? (with the little information supplied)

On a side, if they want to raise some money, put it up on eBay... :)
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Montel Williams

Postby Selmahope » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:44 am

Would love to see an update on how Montel is progressing with this technology. Has anyone seen any updates on him or this technology?
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Re: Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

Postby CureOrBust » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:37 am

I have had this study on my mind for a while, and another post was on the same page on MSRC, so doing some searching, I came across this article:
http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/54545577.html
Open wide, and walk
Tongue stimulation gets brain to improve functions
e-mail print By Harvey Black, Special to the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 24, 2009 |(0) Comments

One possible treatment for people with neurological problems ranging from brain trauma to multiple sclerosis may lie on the tip of the tongue.

In experiments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, neuroscientist Yuri Danilov and his colleagues have been studying for the past several years how electrical stimulation of the tongue can bring about dramatic improvements in people whose ability to balance, walk and stand has been damaged in ways that leave them virtually helpless without a walker or crutches.

Two major nerves - trigeminal nerve and cranial nerve - lie in the tip of the tongue. They wend their way to the back of the skull into the brain stem, which essentially performs a lot of unglamorous but essential housekeeping work, such as keeping us breathing, conscious, and our digestive system operating.

These nerves go to two important structures in the brain stem, the trigeminal nuclei complex and the solitary tract nucleus, Danilov explained.

"Stimulating these two major structures, we can reach any part of the brain," he said.

To reach the brain, a patient puts a small electronic device on the tongue, sending tens of millions of electrical impulses to the brain stem.

The sensation is like innumerable tiny droplets of water from a powerful showerhead. The technique is called cranial nerve non-invasive neuromodulation.

An hourlong session consists of 20 minutes of stimulation on the patient's tongue with the device, plus a number of exercises, including walking on a treadmill.

'Life-changing' treatment
Two weeks of these experimental sessions have made an enormous difference for Alan Eppenbaugh, 50, of Rockford, Ill., who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000.

"It's life changing. I needed a walker when I started, and when I left I was walking on my own," he said.

In the month after his treatment, "I've learned to walk taller, and I can work a lot longer than I could," he said.

He added that he also is weaning himself off his medication.

Stuart Brandes, 69, of Monona also said the experimental approach has improved his life. Diagnosed 11 years ago with MS, Brandes underwent two weeks of training in Danilov's lab in April.

"My balance improved significantly, and my gait improved significantly as well. There were secondary improvements that were equally salutary," he said, noting that he found it much easier to bend over and put on his socks and shoes each morning. Uncontrolled muscle movements also were reduced.

Brandes continues to do several exercises that he learned in Danilov's lab to strengthen atrophied muscles.

But beyond those concrete changes, Brandes talked of his buoyed spirits.

"When you have MS you have a feeling of hopelessness," he said. "You see nothing except more misery. So maybe things don't have to get worse. It's the only thing that has offered me hope in these 11 years."

One sense for another
The concept is based on the thinking of the late Paul Bach-y-Rita of UW-Madison and involves substituting one sense for another, according to Kurt Kaczmarek, who works with Danilov at UW.

"That was part of another effort of Paul's to demonstrate brain plasticity, that the brain changes function as a result of working around injuries, such as stroke, traumatic injury, etc.," he said.

It was Bach-y-Rita who proposed using the tongue, which has a "fine sense of touch," Kaczmarek said.

Bach-y-Rita initially worked with vision, using a camera to transfer images to the tongue, whose projections reach through the brain stem to the area of the brain devoted to vision.

Maurice Ptito, a University of Montreal scientist, has been using this method to help blind people see.

"We were absolutely amazed by this," he said.

Blind people, via their tongues, were activating the same area of the brain as people who can see with their eyes, he said.

The blind, he said, can find objects accurately in space. When asked, they point to the location of the object whose picture is taken by the camera. They don't point to the tongue, which is being stimulated by electrical impulses.

Ptito has seen Danilov's work with neurologically damaged patients and is impressed by it.

"I think he has great results," he said.

Working on balance
The work with balance came about when Mitchell Tyler, a scientist who worked with Bach-y-Rita and now works with Danilov, developed an inner ear infection several years ago that severely damaged his sense of balance.

"For a week I couldn't tell where 'up' was," he says.

He proposed combining a device that measures orientation with the tongue stimulation to help people with such disorders. Tyler and Danilov worked together to understand the science and develop the technology that would correct balance problems.

"Basically, we're rewiring the brain," says Kaczmarek.

But the permanence of the rewiring remains a question.

Jim Haraughty, 50, of Madison was diagnosed with MS six years ago. Earlier this year he was treated in Danilov's lab and experienced "remarkable" effects. Previously he could not stand with his eyes closed. After the training, "I was able to stand on one leg with my eyes closed, and I could do that forever. I felt like an 18-year-old kid."

But in a July interview, he said those effects are starting to "drift away."

Indeed, the issue of permanence is a concern of Danilov, who said the results can be affected by things such as the degree of damage from disease or injury.

Patients may have to use the tongue stimulation device for years to keep themselves in "normal" shape, he said.


And what I think is the related published paper.
http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/54545577.html
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Re: Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

Postby lovebug » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:07 pm

I don`t think that there has been any updates since we first heard about this `tongue stimulator` that Montel Williams tried out to help with his MS symptoms. I tried e-mailing the University of Wisconsin directly as well as Montel Williams and I have never received a reply. Perhaps when Montel reveals to the rest of the world the results of his CCSVI surgery maybe he will let us know than if he received any lasting benefits from the tongue stimulator. Well we can only hope and wait now.....................
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Re: Tongue stimulation study shows promise in helping MS

Postby Lyon » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:49 pm

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Last edited by Lyon on Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Montel Williams

Postby CureOrBust » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:42 am

Selmahope wrote:Would love to see an update on how Montel is progressing with this technology. Has anyone seen any updates on him or this technology?

Not an in-depth response by any means, but he does mention it in passing, in a way that I would take as him not being too impressed with his results. Its in a video for CCSVI, and he mentions it in passing in the second video as one of the extreme things he has tried in fighting his disease; ie having his tongue electrocuted.

> The Post by PanosB <
And the link: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20111023/montel-williams-ms-111023/
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