BrainQ is a world class brain technology company in Israel. The company has a very innovative technology to promote brain healing following stroke or other neurodegenerative diseases. The technology borders on being brilliant and takes on the challenge of healing strokes which have always felt to be untreatable. This will likely lead many medical doctors to be skeptical and avoid adoption for a decade or two until obvious and well publicized achievements are observed, at which point the herd will take it up. For now, I admire the guts and gumption of the founders and their team members.

Brain Q utilizes electrophysiology measurements (EEG, EMG, MEG) to characterize neural oscillatory activity. A growing body of evidence indicates that neural oscillations at specific frequencies are linked to opening neuroplasticity periods, suggesting that using noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques to neuromodulate at specific frequencies can influence these oscillations and aid in neurorecovery.

These fields have long been studied for their role in disease and recovery, and are similar in both magnitude and frequency to magnetic fields generated about a neuron by the current flows associated with a firing axon. While humans cannot feel EMF on a sensory level, these fields may have a role in mediating healthy neural dynamics and coordination, which are dependent on synchronous cell firing, and may be mimicked by exogenous exposure to such similar fields.

In the case of stroke, as well as other neurological disorders, the oscillatory patterns of unhealthy or impaired individuals are measurably different from those of healthy individuals.

With evidence that exposure to specific EMFs can influence neural oscillations, BrainQ operates on the premise that exposing such unhealthy individuals to specific EMF frequencies associated with healthy functioning may improve network plasticity and functional ability.

Thus, BrainQ is developing a treatment to target specific networks in the CNS, utilizing an extremely-low-frequency and low intensity electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) treatment tuned to specific frequencies, with the goal of repairing damaged neural networks.

The diffuse nature of these fields allows for the exposure of the entire CNS and its neural networks. This is an advantage over other forms of NIBS, which typically focus on specific brain regions or segments of the nervous system, and neglect the larger network. BrainQ aims at providing a comprehensive, frequency-tuned treatment to entire networks.

The effect of EMFs on neuroplasticity

Treatments for neurological disorders seek to promote and support recovery processes. A number of effects in physiological, behavioral, and functional outcomes have been identified in tissues and organisms exposed to EMF, and these changes are implicated as the mechanisms which likely underlie the observed recovery from BrainQ’s investigational treatment.‎

A number of mechanisms distinguish themselves as candidates which are likely to be causal in mediating the beneficial effects of the field. There is experimental evidence supporting the effect of ELF-EMF on processes specific to recovery from neurological conditions. There is evidence of:

  • Changes in calcium signaling, which is known to influence and mediate nearly all cellular processes.
  • Proliferation, as well as differentiation, of multiple cell types (including neurogenesis of neural stem cells).
  • Peripheral nerve regeneration.
  •  Effects on polar molecules, likely responsible for the development of the neural projections.
  • Changes in plasticity-related growth factor levels in humans.  

All of the above been shown to be affected by ELF-EMF exposure.   Beyond plasticity-related mechanisms mediated by ELF-EMF exposure, beneficial effects have been observed in a wide variety of phenomena; such as modulation of oxidative stress, effects on the inflammatory process, and reduction of apoptosis.

These mechanisms are very much related to the secondary injury cascade, which is responsible for a chronic and persistent state of neurological injury and neurodegeneration beyond the acute primary injury (i.e., stroke or other trauma/disease state). The modulation of these shared mechanisms of neurotrauma are likely involved in a reduction of overalldisability and dependence.  

The novelty of BrainQ’s investigational treatment lies in the data-driven method we have deployed in order to inform the ELF-EMF frequency parameters.

In choosing these parameters, our aim is to select frequencies that characterize motor related neural networks in the CNS, and are related to the disability a person experiences following a stroke or other neurological trauma.

To achieve this, we have analyzed a large-scale amount of healthy and non-healthy individuals’ brainwaves (electrophysiology data).

Our technology uses explanatory machine learning algorithms to observe the natural spectral characteristics and derive unique therapeutic insights. These are used by BrainQ’s technology to target the recovery of impaired networks. 

source: BrainQ web site.