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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Electrical brain stimulation could support stroke recovery




Applying an electric current to the brain can help recovery from stroke, Oxford University researchers have found. Their research is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
A team from Oxford's Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, led by Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg and Dr Charlotte Stagg, studied the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to support rehabilitation training. The technique involves placing electrodes on the scalp to pass a constant low current through a particular area of the brain.
In this case, the team used a variant called ipsilesional anodal tDCS, where a positive (anodal) current is applied on the side of the brain where damage has occurred. Anodal stimulation has previously been shown to increase the learning of motor skills in healthy people. The hope was that this effect could also be demonstrated in stroke patients, using tDCS to reinforce training that helps patients relearn how to use their body.
Applying an electric current to the brain can help recovery from stroke, Oxford University researchers have found. Their research is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
A team from Oxford's Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, led by Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg and Dr Charlotte Stagg, studied the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to support rehabilitation training. The technique involves placing electrodes on the scalp to pass a constant low current through a particular area of the brain.
In this case, the team used a variant called ipsilesional anodal tDCS, where a positive (anodal) current is applied on the side of the brain where damage has occurred. Anodal stimulation has previously been shown to increase the learning of motor skills in healthy people. The hope was that this effect could also be demonstrated in stroke patients, using tDCS to reinforce training that helps patients relearn how to use their body.
Applying an electric current to the brain can help recovery from stroke, Oxford University researchers have found. Their research is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
A team from Oxford's Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, led by Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg and Dr Charlotte Stagg, studied the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to support rehabilitation training. The technique involves placing electrodes on the scalp to pass a constant low current through a particular area of the brain.
In this case, the team used a variant called ipsilesional anodal tDCS, where a positive (anodal) current is applied on the side of the brain where damage has occurred. Anodal stimulation has previously been shown to increase the learning of motor skills in healthy people. The hope was that this effect could also be demonstrated in stroke patients, using tDCS to reinforce training that helps patients relearn how to use their body.
MRI scanning also showed that those who had had tDCS had more activity in the relevant brain areas for motor skills than the control group.
Study volunteer Jan said: 'The training was exhausting - like being in the gym every day, but it was huge fun. Even after the first session I felt as if I could do more, even though I was knackered. That made me go back every day, and I found it easier and easier. [The stimulation] didn't hurt - more like a mild tingle or a static electric shock right on the top of my head. The worst part was that my head itched afterwards!'
She added: 'I have definitely improved and benefited. People who haven't seen me say 'wow - you can move better now'. It definitely helped. I'm just sorry I can't continue with it. It was so nice to meet a team who had such positive attitudes and who told me it was not too late to improve.'
The research team conclude that there is positive evidence for the use of tDCS to aid stroke recovery but caution that the technique must be proved to have long term benefits not only in clinical measurements but also in the ability to carry out tasks important to daily life. Larger studies, they say, will be needed before this approach could enter routine clinical care.
The paper, Ipsilesional anodal tDCS enhances the functional benefits of rehabilitation in patients after stroke, is published in journal Science Translational Medicine (10.1126/scitranslmed.aad5651).
http://www.ox.ac.uk/…/2016-03-17-electrical-brain-stimulati…
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas…/2016/…/160316151108.htm
https://www.theguardian.com/…/electrical-brain-stimulation-…