Experimental Rehab Technique Boosts Stroke Recovery

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A new stroke rehabilitation therapy developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and other medical centers doubled the rate of upper limb recovery, according to results of a small pilot study published in Stroke.

The rehabilitation technique, called targeted plasticity therapy, involves stimulation of the vagus nerve (the 10th cranial nerve), which runs from the brain to the neck, chest, and abdomen, combined with traditional stroke rehab. It pairs physical movements with precisely timed vagus nerve stimulation using small electrical impulses delivered through a tiny device implanted in the neck. The idea behind the technique is that stimulating the vagus nerve helps to initiate a reorganization of the circuitry in damaged areas of the brain, thereby boosting recovery.

Preliminary results suggest the new technique is safe and about twice as effective as traditional stroke rehab. Larger clinical trials are now recruiting.

Sourced from: Stroke