Neurologist and radiologist Priv.-Doz. Dr. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis, MSc, on her work with Transcranial Pulse Stimulation.
“TPS is an Excellent Module for Promoting Neuroplasticity.”
Since the beginning of January 2023, Transcranial Pulse Stimulation has been represented in the new Institute “Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics and Preventive Health Care” in the renowned EMCO Clinic in Bad Dürrnberg near Salzburg. Head of the institute is the habilitated neurologist and radiologist specializing in neuroradiology Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis, MSc, whose focus of interest in the use of transcranial pulse stimulation in addition to the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia diseases, especially the new clinical picture “Post-Covid” applies, for which in medicine is currently being sought at all levels for causal findings and efficient treatment solutions..
We spoke with the scientist already involved in numerous scientific studies and publications in the past in her office at the EMCO Clinic about her approach to transcranial pulse stimulation, why physical medicine and its regenerative potentials for neuromodulation will play a weighty role in the future and what patient:s with neurophysiological diseases and long-covid or post-covid syndromes can expect from the TPS.
Alzheimer Science (AS): “Dr. Müller-Thies-Broussalis, as a neurologist and radiologist with a focus on neuroradiology, you have dealt with transcranial pulse stimulation in advance for a long time and then decided at the end of last year to use the TPS in your institute at the EMCO Clinic. What were the deciding factors?”
Priv.-Doz. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis (EMTB): “First, I became aware through the current literature and at various professional congresses that there is a new, non-invasive method in the field of Alzheimer’s treatment. In the literature I could see that there can be significant progress in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients through this method. This made me curious as a doctor and scientist and I decided to gain my own experience with the TPS. Because I think that even apart from pharmacological treatments, which are of course important, we have to actively explore new possibilities to help Alzheimer’s patients. Until now, the only other medical tools we had besides medication were, for example, cognitive training. But now I see transcranial pulse stimulation as a new pillar of therapy. This is also related to the fact that, as a radiologist, I naturally understand the technical aspects of TPS due to my training and am entrenched in this field. That’s why I think the idea behind TPS makes a lot of sense. Here, treatment is performed on the brain via external stimulation using sound waves adapted for neurological applications, but no damage can be done to the brain itself. With the TPS method, we are now in the field of regenerative medicine, which was not previously available in neurology, especially when it comes to degenerative diseases. With this new shock wave method, we can significantly improve neuroplasticity.”
“TPS is a Stimulation Therapy that should be used in All Neurodegenerative Diseases.”
Priv.-Doz. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis, MD, MSC
AS: “Keyword neuroplasticity, i.e. the property of the brain to be changeable by external influences: it is now proven that new neurons (especially in the hippocampus and the bulbus olfactoris) are formed throughout life, even if the person already suffers from a neurodegenerative disease. But these newly formed cells require active stimulation. This is where TPS comes in. Can you explain this process to us in general terms?
EMTB: “With TPS, you try to release neurotransmitters via the stimulation of ion channels in the brain. Neurotransmitters are very important for better and faster interconnection of neurons. Neurotransmitters are necessary chemical messengers produced by healthy neurons themselves to carry information from one cell to another. They are there to convert chemical signals into electrical signals and vice versa, and to do so at such a speed that we can hardly measure even today with scientific measurement methods. So our cells all act in both chemical and electrical ways, and it is only through this interaction that the brain can function. Without functioning transmitters this is not possible. In all neurodegenerative diseases, the formation of neurotransmitters is reduced and so the entire work in the brain naturally functions more slowly. The external stimulation by the TPS is to be seen here quite generally as positive, no matter what degenerative disease we are dealing with. To put it casually, the TPS takes over the function of nudging the whole system.
AS: “In very simplified terms, is the TPS a module for “helping the human brain to help itself”?”
EMTB: “Exactly. Thereby it comes yes also to the increase approximately of the Serotonin and the Dopaminspiegel. This has a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease, but of course also on diseases such as depression or Parkinson’s. A real “wow effect” is formed, because the whole system in the brain is activated. Therefore, TPS is logically suitable for all indications associated with neurodegenerative disease patterns.”
AS: “And what exactly does neuroplasticity mean now?”
EMTB: “Neuroplasticity is simply the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize or recalibrate itself to a certain extent, whether through external influences or own mental activities or to a large extent even through technical stimuli as now with the TPS. In diseased people, in whom the brain metabolism no longer functions properly or in whom nerve cells “die off” in excess, natural or chemical stimuli no longer help much. Why TPS works so well here, I can see from my background in stroke research: I have been dealing a lot with stroke patients for many years. Here we are dealing with a destruction of certain brain areas, for example at the language center. If this is the case, patients really have problems articulating at the beginning after such a stroke, that is, they simply can’t speak anymore. But over time, even though the defect is morphologically present, it often happens that parts of this region or adjacent areas take over the lost functions. This means that in the brain either other areas take over these deficient functions or regenerative processes take place. With TPS this process can be stimulated. This is what I find so exciting about TPS: it stimulates brain activity and regenerative mechanisms in a way that was not possible before. Until now, such deficits were treated by logopedic measures. But with TPS we can of course achieve much more in a very short time, the therapy could act like a “turbo”. I also see the TPS as an excellent stimulus for Parkinson’s patients, in whom dopamine production no longer functions well. The same applies, of course, to Alzheimer’s patients, in whom the gray matter simply becomes less. Here, we can also use TPS to stimulate other brain cells that can then, in a sense, take over other work or assist in relearning cognitive skills.”
AS: “However, scientists have of course been intensively studying the possibilities of TPS also in other neurophysiological diseases for many years. A major, because highly topical, issue is ‘long covid’ or ‘post covid’ resulting from corona infections. It is becoming more and more obvious that the number of cases is increasing enormously and that 80% of those affected suffer from neurodegenerative damage such as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), brain fog, concentration disorders, forgetfulness and massive weakness. So far, there is no guideline for the treatment of these new diseases. What options do you see to help these patients?”
EMTB: “This is actually a big task we are facing here at the moment. So far, one of the ways people have treated post-covid is with antidepressants when it came to neurocognitive deficits. Here, one is trying to move forward with the approach of increasing drive, that is, increasing serotonin balance and so on. Giving melatonin was also an issue to minimize antioxidant stress, because you can also assume smoldering inflammation in post-covid. Both of those can also work a little bit, but with the stimulation of serotonin production by the shock waves of TPS, of course, we get to a whole other level here. With this approach, these cognitive syndromes simply go away. I have been told by colleagues that here, it must be said so clearly, cures have actually already taken place through the TPS. I have also been able to experience this myself with my patients.
AS: “Can you tell us such cases from your own medical practice?”
“TPS is the Tool of Choice in Post-Covid or Neuro-Covid to Help Patients Recover. The Success has been Impressive.”
Priv.-Doz. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis, MD, MSC
EMTB: “I’ll gladly give you an example. I have a young patient, 23 years old, who had gone through a very classic covid infection with fever and headache. This young woman first came to see me in the clinic on January 24. She was suffering from daytime fatigue, performance slump, difficulty concentrating, and a classic “brain-fog.” Before coming to me, she had been treated with antidepressants and already melatonin. These treatments led to a slight improvement. But the symptoms were still very prevalent and also stressful for the young patient, because as she made it clear to me in her own words, she felt “knocked out of her own life”. For this reason, I discussed TPS therapy with this patient. However, before I begin shock wave treatment with TPS, it is important for me to rule out other neurological causes. This means I require a clean neurological workup before I then take the step of shock wave treatment. Neuropsychological tests also precede therapy with me, because you also have to quantify the deficits or analyze that the main problem.”
AS: “And after all this had been clarified and you decided to perform TPS: How many treatments were performed on the young patient and with what results?”
EMTB: “We performed a total of three sessions with the TPS. After the first session, the patient already felt much more awake. You have to remember: before that, she often had to lie down during the day, but that didn’t bring any recovery. She said she just wasn’t herself anymore and couldn’t keep up her daily workload. She also felt that society did not understand her. The problem with such illnesses is that people don’t see it and are often portrayed as malingerers. After the third treatment she was completely free of symptoms. Now, after 14 days, I have received feedback that she is still symptom-free and feels completely healthy. She says she feels as if she never had this disease.”
AS: “How can you monitor this treatment success?”
EMTB: “Of course, we do not leave it only with subjective statements of the patients or their social environment. Subsequently, we do further neurological and psychological tests to verify the result. I continue to follow my patients after the disease, also to document and analyze the effectiveness of TPS for my own work and my colleagues.”
AS: “What possibilities do you see for transcranial pulse stimulation in the future?”
EMTB: “I see Transcranial Pulse Stimulation as a strong module for the treatment of any neurodegenerative disease, additive to drug therapy. If the two treatment modalities go hand in hand, we can achieve far more for our patients than we have in the past.”
AS: “Dr. Müller-Thies-Broussalis, we thank you very much for this interview and look forward to your further results with TPS.”
About Priv.-Doz. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis, M.D., MSC
Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Erasmia Müller-Thies-Broussalis studied human medicine at the Medical Karl Franzens University in Graz and became a specialist in neurology and a specialist in radiology, specializing in neuroradiology, at the University Hospital of the Christan Doppler Clinic of Paracelsus Medical Private University in Salzburg. Subsequently, she habilitated in the field of neurology at Paracelsus Medical Private University, Salzburg. After working at the Christian Doppler Clinic for several years and conducting numerous scientific research projects, Dr. Müller-Thies-Broussalis has headed the Institute for “Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics and Preventive Health Care” at the EMCO Private Clinic in Bad Dürrnberg near Salzburg since the end of 2022 and runs her own practice in Salzburg city.
An overview of her scientific work can be found here:.