Enhanced rehab doubles movement recovery after stroke

Enhanced rehabilitation for stroke patients, which includes stimulation of the vagus nerve combined with traditional motor-skill rehab, doubled the rate of upper limb recovery in stroke patients in a recent study. Photo by Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock

By Allen Cone, UPI

A new therapy technique doubled the rate of upper limb recovery in stroke patients compared with rehab alone, according to a study.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas developed targeted plasticity therapy, which is stimulation of the vagus nerve paired with traditional motor-skill rehabilitation. The researchers, who published their findings Thursday in the journal Stroke, said the method is safe.

UT Dallas' spinoff company MicroTransponder funded the study.

"Stroke is too common and too debilitating for us to tolerate the status quo," clinical trial leader Dr. Jane Wigginton, the chief medical officer at UT Dallas' Texas Biomedical Device Center, said in a press release. "Patients need a real solution so they can get back to fully living their lives."

Dr. Michael Kilgard, who invented targeted plasticity therapy and is a shareholder in MicroTransponder Inc., said the study results further validate theories that he and his colleagues based their TPT work on in 2009.

"We set out to design an approach that could transform long-term care and restore quality of life to patients for whom that has thus far been impossible," Kilgard, who was not involved in the clinical trial, said. "These results show our method has immense potential. We're excited about what this could mean for millions of stroke patients worldwide."

In several animal studies, Kilgard's technique demonstrated that it is effective in recovering limb function after stroke. And a small clinical trial in Europe showed potential use in humans.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted because of a blockage or a ruptured blood vessel. When nerve cells are damaged there is limited mobility. Rehabilitation includes repeated movement of the affected limb in an effort to regain motor skills.

The therapy technique pairs physical movements with precisely timed vagus nerve stimulation, which is done by electrical stimulus of the nerve via a device implanted on the nerve in the neck.

The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees many unconscious functions, including circulation and digestion. With this method, it is hoped that synchronizing VNS with movement accelerates plasticity in a damaged brain and leads to recovery.

The clinical trial included 17 people across the country who had a stroke between four months and five years prior to selection. After a VNS device was implanted, they received six weeks of in-clinic rehab followed by a home exercise program.

About half were treated with active VNS and the rest received control VNS.

The researchers found that those receiving active VNS scored more than twice as high as control subjects at the 30- and 90-day intervals.

Researchers are currently recruiting up to 120 participants in 15 cities for a more extensive trial.


Note: If you think this story need more information or correction, feel free to comment below your opinion and reaction.

Fitness,36,Health,1479,Health Care,7,Health News,1430,Mental Health,6,
Health News: Enhanced rehab doubles movement recovery after stroke
Enhanced rehab doubles movement recovery after stroke
Health News
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy