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Brain stimulation may aid stroke recovery
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Roman Bystrianyk
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Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 454

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject: Brain stimulation may aid stroke recovery Reply with quote

Karla Gale, "Brain stimulation may aid stroke recovery", Reuters, May
24, 2005,
Link:
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=8589872

A new therapy that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain help
stroke patients recover motor function, research suggests.

"These results are exciting because magnetic stimulation is a
non-invasive, painless therapy that can be done while patients are
awake," Dr. Felipe Fregni from Harvard Medical School in Boston said.

The treatment, called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
(rTMS), is applied to the unaffected brain hemisphere of stroke
patients. Stimulating the healthy side of the brain is believed to
reduce activity there and promote increased activity in the
stroke-damaged side of the brain.

With the treatment, a brief electrical current is passed through an
insulated wire coil that is placed on the scalp creating a magnetic
pulse that stimulates the outer part of the brain called the cortex.

Fregni and colleagues treated 10 patients who had experienced a stroke
within the previous 12 months and who were relearning to use their
affected hands. They underwent three stimulation sessions an hour
apart.

A sham treatment was also given to patients, and six healthy control
subjects underwent the same testing protocol, to ensure that changes in
test performance could not be attributed to learning effects.

With stimulation, stroke patients improved by as much as 50 percent on
some of the tests, such as a reaction time test, compared with sham
treatment. The authors also observed improved results on the so-called
Purdue Pegboard test results, with a significant increase in the number
of correctly placed pegs.

Control subjects showed no changes in test performance over time.

Fregni pointed out that the improvements were temporary. "We believe
that if we increase the number of sessions we can increase the duration
and magnitude of the effect, so our next step will be to administer
consecutively for 10 days" and then test motor function, he added.

SOURCE: Neurology, May 24, 2005.
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