Electric Brain Stimulation Can Aid in Stroke Recovery

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

For years, medical professionals have used electronic stimulation to induce muscle movement in stroke victims by applying electrical current directly to a muscle. When successful, the muscle movement in turn stimulates the corresponding nerve, in hopes of sending a signal to the brain.

But now, a study by Oxford University’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences has shown that electronic stimulation of the brain may have promise for those who have suffered a stroke. Read on to learn more, presented by Home Care Assistance of Centennial.

In the test study, electrodes were attached to the scalp of the damaged area of the brain. A small electric current is then applied to the electrodes. The procedure, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was conducted over a nine-day period. 

The test subjects’ motor skills were tested before, during and after the procedure over a three-month period. Those received tDCS showed greater improvement of the tested motor skills than a control group. Skills such as grasping and lifting showed the most improvement. 

In a similar study, researchers at the Harvard Medical School used magnetic current applied to the undamaged side of the brain. The low magnetic force was used to deter brain stimulation to the healthy side of the brain, thereby forcing increased brain activity to the damaged portion. Results of this test were also positive, resulting in improvement of test subjects over the control group. 

According to the researchers, brain stimulation could have an effect on future rehabilitation programs. The procedure is non-invasive and painless. If further studies prove successful, tDCS could be used to quicken rehabilitation periods, become an aid to enhance physical therapy, and increase maximum levels of improvement. 

If your senior loved one has experienced a stroke, promote a safe and efficient recovery in the comfort of home with help from Home Care Assistance. All of our care services are customized to meet each client’s unique needs, we are available 24/7, and all of our caregivers are expertly trained. For more information on any of our care services, including Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Centennial, call 303.957.3100 and schedule an in-home consultation.

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