Reports From the Field: Brain injury patients turn to alternative medicine

Patients with traumatic brain injuries are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to supplement conventional medical care, but the majority is not discussing it with their physicians, a new study has concluded.

Research presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April revealed that more than 80% of patients interviewed believed that alternative therapies, ranging from massage to herbal medicine were effective even though there has been little medical research to prove it.

Researchers at the University of Michigan’s (U-M) Health System’s Department of Physician Medicine and Rehabilitation interviewed 130 randomly selected brain injury patients. More than half said they had used at least one CAM therapy. The most commonly utilized were massage therapy, meditation, herbal medicine, and chiropractic care.

To learn more about the U-M traumatic brain injury program, visit www.umich.edu/.