Noninvasive technique aids recovery
Researchers at BIDMC say a noninvasive electric stimulation technique administered to both sides of the brain can help stroke patients who have lost motor skills in their hands and arms.
The study published online in the journal Neurology found that stroke patients who received bihemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) -- coupled with a regimen of physical and occupational therapy -- had a three-fold greater improvement in motor function compared with patients who received only physical/occupational rehabilitation and a placebo form of stimulation.
"We think that the key to this therapy's success in improving stroke patients' motor function is based on its ability to affect the brain activity on both the stroke-affected side of the brain and the healthy side of the brain as patients work to re-learn lost motor skills," says senior author Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD, the Director of the Stroke Service in BIDMC's Department of Neurology and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
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