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Gyrostim for treatment of Concussions

Guest hf101

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I came across this interesting interview with Guillaume Latendresse earlier in the week. I never heard of Gyrostim as technique for brain injuries before but thought I would share. You can read the interview in it's entirety here.

SL: Tell me about how you've been, because, honestly, you've been the victim of a concussion, you went through some hard times, but you met with Dr. Ted Carrick, who also treats Sidney Crosby, and I believe he's the reason you're feeling a lot better now, right?

GL: Yes, I've talked to Pierre-Marc (Bouchard) about this as well, because he basically went through the same thing as I did. We've tried many things, I received some treatments in Montreal and in Minnesota, I met many doctors, and I think with concussions, it's all a matter of timing. You could have a concussion and get the same treatments as me, but the result may not be as good for you, everyone is different. When I went to Atlanta to see Dr. Carrick, the treatment went great for me, but the way his machine works is it makes you spin...

SL: Like a gyroscope?

GL: Exactly! That's what impressed me the most and I wanted to talk about it tonight because it's not just made to treat concussions, that's the interesting thing about it. I saw a little 4 year-old girl there, she had never been able to walk in her life and after two days, she was able to walk! (Surprised reactions across the panel) Of course, she wasn't walking perfectly, but she was walking. There was a blind girl, two days later, she saw colors for the first time and she was like... (mesmerized expression)

SL: How was it for you when you went into the machine, because, I believe you go in 30-second sequences, right? (GL: Exactly) You get out, you go back in later, you do it about 3-4 times a day...

GL: Yes, exactly. On the first day, they give you a pair of special glasses and you don't really know what to expect. They make you do plenty of tests, like for example, they made me walk a straight line and they made me recite the months of the year, but I had to skip one of two (January, March, May and so on), so that way, I had to use my brain and when that happened, I lost all my reflexes on the left side of my body, my arm stayed straight while I was walking so he (Dr.Carrick) said ''Ah! It's something on the left side''. So then, I put on my glasses which had cameras in them unbeknownst to me. Then he told me to follow the green line and there were results for that, then I had to follow a wavy line and I struggled to do it, I would go straight when I needed to go like this (makes a wave-like gesture with his hand), then it was a saw-like line and I just couldn't stay on the line. With the results of those exercises, he was able to determine that the response from my left side was sluggish.

So then, what that machine does (the gyroscope-like machine, which is called a Gyrostim, is one of only three in the US, according the people at Gyrostim and it is a multi-axis rotating chair. You can find out more at their website), you could go in (points to a panelist), they would spin you like this, you could go in (points another one) it would spin you the other way, I went in and they spun me this way (forward motion). I did it 3-4 times a day, 30 seconds at a time for one week. By the second day, I looked at my girlfriend, she was with me, I said to Annie (Villeneuve, Quebec singer) ''I felt a trigger, I haven't felt this way in 5 months, but I felt a trigger, my brain is back on, it's ready, I felt it''. I went to bed at 10pm that night and I woke up at 8 the next day, went for my treatment, took a nap from 8:30 to 11, went for another treatment, took another nap from noon to 5, went for treatments again and then I went to sleep and slept through the night. The next day, I felt perfect.

MB: When you go through these treatments or beforehand, do you feel pain?

GL: When you go through the treatments? No, no pain. Of course, you get spun around so you get nauseous and you feel like your brain touches your nose (tilts forward) and then goes back, it's a special feeling and there are 3 year old kids using this machine, it's crazy.

JD: Guillaume, does this mean that NHL teams or any professional or amateur team could obtain one of these machines and not have to travel to Atlanta, you could have the treatment in Minnesota or here in Montreal?

GL: Well, it's like the docteur told me, not everyone is qualified to use this machine, because if you make someone spin the improper way, it could mess everything up because we asked him ''Who can use this machine?'' and I think there were only two specialists over there who were qualified to use it and to guide others on how to use it.

MT: Right now, we're talking about concussions and some are seriously hurt by them. You look at the number of concussed players right now, it's absolutely absurd and sometimes you ask yourself as a fan or as a connoisseur ''Do any of them exagerrate?'' In your case, we know it's a concussion, but when you go to places like those and you talk to team doctors, do any of them have doubts sometimes when a player tells them they think they have a concussion?

GL: I'm glad you brought that up. I think the big problem is that it's not everyone who believes, because what do teams want? I was lucky. In Minnesota, they were honest with me, they told me ''You don't feel good. When you do, come back and we'll start working things out.'' So I was lucky, but I don't think it works that way for everyone, because they want you to play, they want you to come back, they need you. It all comes back to...the player has to respect himself. There were days that I'd watch the game and I'd tell myself ''I want to play, but I have a headache. If I don't want to have headaches when I'm 50 years old, I have to sit this one out.'' I have to put my life before my career because that where things are now. I was hearing about Sedin (Daniel) earlier, how his brother is playing and he's injured, but if he's planning to come back before he's ready, he's stupid. (interview was before game4. Sedin came back in game 4)

MB: Will you be able to get back into action soon?

GL: That's what the doctors told me, yeah, according to the results. I just took the NHL's tests, I didn't get the results yet, but I feel better than I felt when I came back from my concussion the first time in December. I felt good then, but it didn't compare to how good I feel now.

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