Deep Brain Stimulation Study Shows Promise for Stroke Patients
Statistics show someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States, and stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability.
Exploring Deep Brain Stimulation
Now, a Cleveland Clinic study is exploring the use of deep brain stimulation to help those who’ve suffered a stroke recover. Deep brain stimulation is a little bit like a pacemaker inside the brain, sending electrical pulses into the brain to manage brain activity and treat diseases or problems.
Phase 1 Trial
Phase 1 of the trial involved 12 stroke patients suffering from moderate-to-severe muscle weakness on one side of the body. Each person underwent deep brain stimulation surgery, where electrodes were implanted into part of the brain to deliver electric pulses to help regain control of movements.
Results and Improvements
After surgery, study participants underwent physical therapy with the deep brain stimulation device turned off for several weeks and then turned on for four to eight months. The most significant improvements were noted with deep brain stimulation turned on, with nine out of 12 people in the trial experiencing improved motor impairment and function.
Comparison to Traditional Treatment
The traditional treatment for rehabilitation after a stroke is physical and occupational therapy. However, deep brain stimulation made the improvements greater than what physical and occupational therapy could achieve alone.
Further Research and Ongoing Study
Dr. Machado, the lead researcher, emphasizes that more research is needed, and the study is ongoing to further explore the potential of deep brain stimulation in stroke recovery.
The findings of this study were recently published in Nature Medicine.
Dr. Machado patented the DBS method in stroke recovery. Boston Scientific owns a license to those patents and provided the Vercise DBS systems used in the trial. In 2010, Cleveland Clinic Innovations established Enspire DBS Therapy, Inc., and is commercializing technology to commercialize the method. Dr. Machado holds stock options and equity ownership rights with Enspire and serves as the chief scientific officer.