New Study Shows Promise for Non-invasive Treatment of Balance Problems After Brain Injury

Potential Benefits Beyond Balance

Balance problems are a common lingering issue for those who have experienced a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Even after physical therapy, many people still struggle with dizziness, instability, and an increased risk of falls. A new study offers hope, suggesting that a non-invasive treatment called translingual neurostimulation (TLNS) might be an effective way to improve balance when combined with targeted physical therapy.

What is TLNS?

TLNS is a safe and non-invasive treatment that uses a small device placed on the tongue. This device delivers mild electrical pulses which are thought to stimulate the nerves involved in balance and movement, potentially helping the brain re-establish better communication pathways.

About the Study

This study was a large, multi-site, randomized, and double-blind trial – the gold standard for medical research. This means:

    • Large scale: Over 4,300 people were screened, and 122 participants with chronic balance issues met the study criteria.
    • Multi-site: The study took place at multiple locations, increasing the reliability of the findings.
    • Randomized: Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a high-frequency (HFP) or low-frequency (LFP) TLNS treatment.
    • Double-blind: Neither the participants nor the researchers knew who was receiving which treatment, eliminating bias.


All participants had previously undergone physical therapy but hadn't seen further improvement.

Key Findings

    • Both TLNS groups (high-frequency and low-frequency) showed significant improvements in balance tests after five weeks of treatment.
    • Participants reported reductions in falls, headaches, and dizziness. They also noted improved sleep quality.
    • Overall, 67% of participants demonstrated a positive response to the treatment.
    • The TLNS treatment was well-tolerated, with no serious side effects.


This study offers promising evidence that TLNS, when combined with targeted physical therapy, could be a safe and effective way to help people regain balance and function after a brain injury. While more research is needed to confirm these findings and explore long-term benefits, this study offers a significant step forward for those struggling with chronic balance issues following mTBI.

If you or someone you know is experiencing balance problems after a brain injury, talk to your doctor about potential treatment options. While TLNS is still being researched, it may offer a new avenue for improvement.