Life Extension Magazine®

The Concussion Cure: 3 Proven Methods to Heal Your Brain

In his book, Paul Henry Wand, MD, describes a protocol for treating concussions.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Paul Henry Wand, MD.

Each year, 43 million concussions are diagnosed around the world.

Victims can suffer debilitating symptoms including headaches, memory loss, confusion, and personality changes.

Paul Henry Wand, MD, has been treating concussion patients for 37 years. Along the way, he made two key discoveries:

1. Most doctors are NOT using the most accurate tests to diagnose brain injuries, and

2. When properly diagnosed, it is possible to reverse the symptoms of a concussion.

Using his three-step method, Dr. Wand has treated thousands of concussion patients. He has witnessed his results, both for recent brain injuries and for those that had gone untreated for years.

Dr. Wand is sharing his discoveries with the world in his new book, The Concussion Cure: 3 Proven Methods to Heal Your Brain.

In it, he provides critical information on how to properly diagnose and treat concussions, shares three proven methods for reversing concussion symptoms, and details numerous key dietary supplements that are important for helping to restore proper brain function.

In this exclusive interview with Life Extension® magazine, Dr. Wand discusses his proven methods, shares stories of dramatic healing, and most importantly—offers hope to all those who have suffered from a brain injury.

—Laurie Mathena

LE: Who is at risk of suffering from a concussion?

Dr. Wand: Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Whether the injury is minor, from falling off a bicycle, or major, from a devastating car accident, brain injuries can lead to long-term problems and even death if not appropriately treated.

LE: What are some of the symptoms of a concussion?

Dr. Wand: A person who has suffered a concussion might have the typical symptoms of headache, dizziness, impaired memory, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), difficulty performing simple math, speaking and comprehending (aphasia), and have difficulty performing higher cognitive functions such as abstraction, planning, and executive functions (memory, self-control, and mental flexibility).

They may also experience personality changes, irritability, aggressive behavior, depression, anxiety, and left-right confusion, to name the most common symptoms.

doctor using a tablet to show brain scan to patients

LE: What are the best diagnostic tests for evaluating a brain injury?

Dr. Wand: Many types of scans can be performed to evaluate an injury to the brain. However, some scans do not offer any meaningful data, while others offer great detail that would otherwise be overlooked.

I have determined that the most sensitive studies to document an mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury) remain the QEEG (quantitative electroencephalography or computerized EEG), the QEP (quantitative evoked potentials), and the neuropsychological testing, followed by the SPECT scan, with the MRI being the least sensitive.

These tests should be used in all cases of brain trauma to give accurate diagnoses. The tests should always be done with a normative database to ensure an objective evaluation and not depend on anyone’s opinion.

LE: In your book, The Concussion Cure, you discuss your own personal protocol for treating brain injuries. What kind of results have you seen in your patients?

Dr. Wand: As a neurologist, I have treated thousands of brain injuries over more than three decades. During that time, I developed a treatment protocol that has resulted in reversals of the consequences of brain damage. The protocol may even regenerate brain tissue.

From a young man who dropped out of university when his grades declined as a result of several minor concussions as a child, to a young woman who had been confined to a wheelchair for nine years after a severe car accident, my patients come in with injuries that cover the entire range in severity and age.

In every case, their improvements make significant differences in their lives, often dramatically so. After treatment, the man successfully went back to university, and the woman regained some of her vision.

LE: What did you discover that all patients with traumatic brain injury have in common?

Dr. Wand: In 1990, when I first began to order SPECT scans for many of my patients with TBI, I was impressed with what I saw in nearly all of them: they all had varying degrees of hypoperfusion, which is a relative reduction in blood flow in a characteristic pattern.

I hypothesized that if essentially all patients had hypoperfusion, one treatment would be to increase the blood flow. Simple and elegant.

LE: Is there a simple way to increase blood flow to the brain?

Dr. Wand: What I use to successfully treat traumatic brain injuries is a powerful drug called Nimotop® (brand), or nimodipine (generic).

Nimodipine relaxes the smooth muscles inside the artery, which facilitates the artery’s dilatation. This, in turn, increases blood flow, so more oxygen is delivered to the cell.

Nimodipine works very well to supply blood to the areas of the brain with hypoperfusion, thus leading to improvements, often dramatic. I strongly advocate for its use in most, if not all, TBIs, as its remarkable benefits are undeniable.

I have used nimodipine extensively to treat TBI and other neurological conditions in the outpatient setting with great success and safety.

LE: You’ve also experienced great success with neurofeedback. Can you describe how that works?

Dr. Wand: Neurofeedback is a specific treatment modality that retrains the brain by taking advantage of the brain’s neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to create new connections between neurons after an injury or other damage to the brain.

Neurofeedback (NFB) changes the brain’s electrical function by using positive reinforcement through repeated sessions. NFB converts the dysfunctional state of the brain into a more normal state. The improvement is verified by a scientifically proven comparison to a normal population (normative database).

doctor looking at brain scans

LE: What kind of results have you seen using neurofeedback?

Dr. Wand: I recall a patient who had NFB for many years and continued to show gradual improvement. His problem was a seizure disorder with an underlying abnormal brain structure that predisposed him to having seizures.

As his treatments progressed and various abnormalities were resolved, new ones showed up on post-treatment QEEG tests, necessitating further NFB sessions. The continued treatments, combined with a seizure medication, resulted in successfully eradicating his auras (which are warning signs of impending seizure) and eliminating his seizures.

LE: What about hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating traumatic brain injuries?

Dr. Wand: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is a treatment that pumps pure oxygen under pressure into the blood and body. The normal air that we breathe contains 20 percent oxygen, but HBOT air is 100 percent oxygen, and thus delivers five times more oxygen to the cells.

The benefits of using HBOT include its unique ability to heal any kind of wound, which means it is beneficial for treating brain injuries in TBI patients. When all factors are considered, the single most important criterion to effect healing is making oxygen available to the cells of the body. Without enough oxygen, cells cannot heal or function properly.

LE: How does HBOT help heal the brain?

Dr. Wand: As previously mentioned, oxygen is the single most important element for the healing of human tissues.

When the diameter of a blood vessel in the brain narrows because of a TBI, the blood flow through it decreases, and stops altogether if the vessel completely closes. When this happens, the oxygen level falls, and then all of the tissues downstream from the point of closure suffer the inevitable fate of dying unless the blood flow is restored. The end result is ischemia (lack of oxygen) and apoptosis (cell death).

The first and most obvious way in which HBOT promotes healing is that it increases the oxygen level in the circulating blood via the respiratory system as the patient simply breaths the enriched air that fills the chamber. There are multiple other mechanisms of action of HBOT, which are described in my book.

LE: Have any studies been conducted using HBOT to treat concussions?

Dr. Wand: One HBOT human study showed significant improvement of blood flow, an increase of brain tissue seen on MRI scans, and improved results in psychological testing. These included an increase in the speed of thinking, which is always slowed when a brain injury occurs.

SPECT scans were used to document blood flow before and after treatment. The post-treatment scans visually showed a significant increase of blood flow in those areas that had showed significant hypoperfusion.

The authors of this elegant study were able to document for the first time, in humans suffering from persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS), that HBOT could induce healing, months or even years after an injury. (This matches my observations using nimodipine.)

They also found improved angiogenesis and an increase in neuroplasticity, which assists in cellular repair and clinical recovery, even years after the injury.

LE: You also recommend supplements to help heal the brain. What is one of the most beneficial ones?

Dr. Wand: The loss of blood flow, or hypoperfusion, that occurs in a TBI, and that I consider to be the hallmark injury in concussion, can be combatted with supplements. Many supplements are thought to increase blood flow in the brain if they are able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, which enables them to act directly within the cells.

Probably the most well-known of these is Ginkgo biloba, which comes from one of the oldest known tree species.

Ginkgo biloba has many health benefits. It supports healthy circulation, helps to maintain the normal function and tone of blood vessels, supports healthy oxygen and glucose metabolism in the brain, stabilizes capillaries and makes them less fragile, supports normal blood coagulation, and supports healthy aging in the brain.

Ginkgo leaf extract contains several active components, including flavonoids, terpenes, lactones, and organic acids, all of which have neuroprotective and cardioprotective properties.

LE: Can all concussions be healed?

Dr. Wand: The brain is a remarkable organ, unique in its functions and capabilities. New neurons can grow and new synapses form, thus literally growing new brain matter.

Those who are wheelchair-bound from a head injury may be able to walk again. Poor cognitive function can be repaired. Muscle strength and reflexes can return. In fact, all symptoms can be improved if not totally reversed.

It also depends upon the severity of the injury, but even the worst injuries, as documented in my book, do show significant improvement with my treatment known as “The Wand Protocol.”

There is hope for every person suffering the effects of concussion. The brain can be healed. It takes determination, dedication, and working with a physician who supports you in your quest for optimal health.

Never give up in your quest to heal your brain.

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If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

Adapted from The Concussion Cure: 3 Proven Methods to Heal Your Brain by Paul Wand, MD. Copyright ©2019. Available from Fisk Avenue Press.

Paul Henry Wand, MD, is a clinical neurologist in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with special expertise in treating and reversing diabetic peripheral neuropathy and brain injuries from various causes. He is a member of the Life Extension® Medical Advisory Board.

To order a copy of The Concussion Cure, call 1-800-544-4440.