Jumpstarting stroke recovery
New brain stimulation techniques yield positive outcomes.
Newer, promising brain stimulation techniques for stroke motor recovery are bringing light to the darkness experienced by a stroke diagnosis, according to panelists for the Brain Stimulation for Stroke Recovery session.
During Thursday’s morning session, experts will explore methods to address the commonalities and differences across the spectrum of care.
One notable recent achievement is the FDA approval of vagus nerve stimulation for promoting motor recovery in chronic stroke patients. That technique, as well as transcranial direct current stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation and epidural spinal stimulation, will generate a robust discussion and promise.
“This session represents a significant platform for stroke neurologists to engage with the latest scientific developments in neurostimulation and their potential impact on the future of stroke rehabilitation,” said Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD, professor of rehabilitation medicine at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea, who will moderate the session.
Advanced brain and nerve stimulation techniques represent everything from early-stage laboratory investigations to FDA-approved methods for enhancing motor recovery post-stroke, Dr. Paik said.
Panelists will share insights into the application of non-invasive methodologies, sophisticated, surgery-requiring interventions and their role in augmenting traditional rehabilitation therapies.
“Attention is given to the optimization of stimulation parameters to maximize recovery outcomes, along with an exploration of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms,” Dr. Paik said. “Brain stimulation is a multifaceted tool for improving motor function, speech, cognition and mood post-stroke.”
Current pilot studies with small sample sizes will be presented at the session, including a preview of results from larger-scale clinical trials to validate the efficacy of these techniques.
“There’s a lack of conclusive data regarding the efficacy of these techniques across different patient demographics, including age, stroke severity and chronicity, while positing their potential effectiveness in patients with residual brain capacity and recovery potential,” Dr. Paik said.
Brain stimulation therapies work by altering brain excitability and plasticity, and can potentially enhance recovery outcomes beyond what traditional therapies can achieve, Dr. Paik said. It’s considered a revolutionary approach.
“This session emphasizes the necessity for personalized treatment approaches in stroke recovery, recognizing the heterogeneity of stroke pathophysiology and patient-specific factors,” Dr. Paik said. “The critical role of ongoing research, including clinical trials, in advancing our understanding and efficacy of these therapies is underscored.”