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A way to retrain the brain?
Scottsdale, Ariz—A new clinical study conducted by Wake Forest School of Medicine shows that use of a new non-invasive technology from the creators of Cereset not only reduces symptoms of military-related traumatic stress, but also improves brain function. The clinical study, conducted by the Department of Neurology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina used Cereset’s underlying HIRREM (High-resolution, Relational, Resonance-based Electroencephalic Mirroring) technology, which the company’s website describes as “the first and only example of closed-loop, allostatic neurotechnology.”
The full clinical investigative study was published in the Journal of Neuroimaging on October 10. Led by Dr. Charles H. Tegeler, McKinney-Avant Professor of Neurology of Wake Forest School of Medicine, the study was conducted over a 12-day period with active duty and veteran US military personnel with symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
“Post-traumatic stress disorder affects millions of individuals around the world, not just the military participants studied in this clinical trial,” said Tegeler, Neurologist at Wake Forest School of Medicine and lead researcher and co-author of this paper. “After a 12-day process, fMRI scans of the brain showed significant changes in connectivity that are consistent with the observed reduction in PTSD symptoms. The fact that this technology is non-invasive, is a non-pharmacological intervention, and does not require that the recipients ‘do anything’ other than let the brain repair itself, is very exciting.”
Study participants showed significantly different network connectivity on MRI brain scans after using HIRREM. This was in addition to previously reported significant reductions in symptoms of post-traumatic stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety, with reduced symptoms lasting at least six months. This is the first study using functional MRI (fMRI) brain imagery to demonstrate such changes with use of a noninvasive intervention for PTSD, which also reduced symptoms, and showed benefits persisting for six months.
According to the study, “The network degree and global efficiency analyses revealed a general increase in DMN [default mode network] connectivity, which is consistent with the premise that these subjects may have had relatively low DMN connectivity at their baseline, as shown in other studies of PTSD. In addition to the increased connectivity, the DMN exhibited a relative decrease in community structure. Although not directly measured, the findings suggest that the connectivity increase in DMN was actually from an increase in connections from the DMN to other brain circuits. If connectivity had increased within DMN regions, community structure would have increased as well. These changes in DMN connectivity after the intervention may have reflected a therapeutic effect. Optimized communication between the DMN and other brain circuits could facilitate a more coherent sense of self (e.g., reduction of dissociative or depersonalizing aspects of PTSD), and might also be associated with improved switching between the DMN and other circuits.
“In contrast to the increased connectivity demonstrated in the DMN overall, other regions showed connectivity reductions,” the study continues. “For individuals with PTS(D), a decrease in anterior DMN connectivity might indicate therapeutic reduction of self‐referencing or mind‐wandering. The decrease in SMN [sensorimotor network] connectivity may explain the reduction of insomnia symptoms reported by this cohort. Non‐rapid eye movement sleep and sleep deprivation are shown to be associated with reduced and increased connectivity of the SMN, respectively, raising the possibility that autocalibration of the waking SMN, toward reduction of connectivity, may have helped these highly vigilant and physically trained individuals to transition to sleep states.”
Cereset states that their BrainEcho technology uses sensors to detect brain rhythms and proprietary algorithms that correlate those rhythms with musical tones played back to the client. The brain hears itself, then reportedly rebalances and repairs itself without outside intervention, stimulus or medication.
The study reported “changes in brain network connectivity that are consistent with remediation of symptoms of PTS(D), for a cohort of mostly male special operation officers who undertook usage of an allostatic, closed‐loop acoustic stimulation neurotechnology (HIRREM) for autocalibration of neural oscillations. Postinterventional changes in connectivity of the DMN including the anterior portion, as well as the SMN, may explain their clinical improvements.” The authors recommend ongoing study, including the enrollment of more women.
“There have been several studies in the past proving the benefits of Cereset’s technology and its promoting more restful sleep, but this is the most conclusive study to date related to PTSD and our military,” said Lee Gerdes, founder of Cereset and creator of the HIRREM technology. “Not only did symptoms improve, and the brain scans change significantly after Cereset, the benefits persisted for six months following Cereset. Over the past 15 years, more than 130,000 people have used our technology to reduce stress and improve restful sleep. I’m thrilled that this new study further validates the technology as safe and effective, exposing it to even more people seeking natural, non-pharmaceutical solutions.”