For the first time ever, a treatment option that’s become increasingly popular in Parkinson’s patients – deep-brain stimulation – is being tested on a stroke survivor. Involving the implantation of an electrode that stimulates a particular area of the brain, the anticipated response will be a reversal of the paralysis so often encountered following a stroke, and the restoration of mobility.
To understand how a stroke impedes normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a house whose front door has suddenly become blocked by a fallen tree. And in her work, she’s determined to bypass that blockage and access other pathways to help restore as much functionality to the person as possible.
To work in tandem with therapy to create new neural pathways, Dr. Andre Machado of the Cleveland Clinic implanted the first deep-brain stimulating electrode into a stroke patient as the first step in this clinical human trial. The next step will be to turn it on, sending the electrical impulses that he hopes will stimulate brain growth. Based on the results of this trial, a number of other conditions are in line for similar tests. University Hospital neurosurgeon Jennifer Sweet shares, “People are studying the benefit of this for addiction; we know that it can be effective in obsessive compulsive disorder, it’s been used to treat Tourette’s; it may even be an option for anorexia or obesity or hypertension.”
North River Home Care of Norwell, MA will be keeping an eye on developments in this study. In the meantime, if you have a loved one who’s suffered a stroke, contact us for in-home care assistance to improve his or her quality of life. We can help in any of the following ways:
- Preparing healthy meals according to any prescribed dietary plan
- Assisting with light housework and laundry
- Performing a safety assessment of the home to reduce fall risks
- Providing escorted transportation to medical appointments or other outings
- Picking up prescriptions and running errands
- And much, much more