Electronic Device Could Help Stroke Patients Recover Hand Movement
Newcastle University, UK - Neuroscientists at Newcastle University have developed and are beginning the first trial on an electronic device designed to help stroke patients recover control and movement of their hands. The device, the size of a mobile phone, delivers a series of small electrical shocks followed by an audible click to strengthen brain and spinal connections.
The experts believe this could revolutionize treatment for patients, providing a wearable solution to the effects of stroke.
Following successful work in primates and healthy human subjects, the Newcastle University team are now working with colleagues at the prestigious Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, India, to start the clinical trial. Involving 150 stroke patients, the aim of the study is to see whether it leads to improved hand and arm control.
Stuart Baker, Professor of Movement Neuroscience at Newcastle University who has led the work said: "We were astonished to find that a small electric shock and the sound of a click had the potential to change the brain's connections. However, our previous research in primates changed our thinking about how we could activate these pathways, leading to our study in humans."
Recovering hand control
Publishing in the Journal of Neuroscience, the team report on the development of the miniaturized device and its success in healthy patients at strengthening connections in the reticulospinal tract, one of the signal pathways between the brain and spinal cord. Continue>
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