To treat a traumatic brain injury, researchers are thinking outside the box.

“A traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe, but is usually caused by a harsh bump or blow to the head,” says Kevin Ward, M.D., a professor of emergency medicine and biomedical engineering at Michigan Medicine and director of the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC). 

“A patient may experience a moment of dysfunction on the mild end, to unconsciousness and loss in brain function on the severe end of injury.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI is a serious public health problem in the United States. In 2014, there were approximately 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths throughout the nation.