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Electrical Brain Stimulation Aids in Stroke Recovery

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Researchers at Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences may have discovered a way to help patients who have suffered stroke regain mobility. In a recent study read by Allentown caregivers, researchers studied 24 volunteers who had experienced a stroke that decreased their mobility. The volunteers were split into groups. Both received physical therapy and rehabilitative training, but one received transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during their training while the other did not.

In plain language, tDCS is a process through which electrodes are placed on the patient’s scalp. Electrical current is then run through the electrodes, passing through the damaged areas of the brain as it travels from one electrode to the other. The group who did not receive tDCS were still fitted with electrodes to ensure that no one knew if they were receiving the treatment or not, thereby protecting the study’s authenticity.

Mobility was tested before the experiment to establish a baseline, at study completion after nine days, and again three months after treatment. The group who received tDCS showed greater mobility at both nine days and three months than the group who did not. Those who received tDCS were better able to lift, reach for, and grasp objects and showed more brain activity in the motor skill centers of the brain when given an MRI.

While this study could prove to be good news for seniors recovering from stroke, more work needs to be done. Currently, tCDS treatment is extremely costly and quite labor intense. More information is also needed about the long-term efficacy and effects of the treatment, which is still in its infancy. The team at Oxford suggested that future studies be larger and include measurements of patients’ ability to perform everyday tasks.

If your aging parent or loved one has recently had a stroke, you can promote a safe and efficient recovery at home with help from Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of senior home care in Allentown, and our caregivers can help with everything from nutritious meal planning to mobility support. For more information, please give us a call at 484-350-3874 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.