Can DBS Improve Motor Function Post-Stroke? (Video)

Cleveland Clinic receives OK for first-in-human trial

Can DBS Improve Motor Function Post-Stroke?

Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute investigators are hoping that deep brain stimulation (DBS) will prove effective in helping patients regain movement lost to a stroke. Nearly 10 years of preclinical research into this new application of DBS demonstrate consistent and reproducible improvement in motor function in an animal model of stroke, states Andre Machado, MD, PhD, Neurological Institute Chairman. “We have shown that this works in small as well as large strokes. There is reorganization of the brain and new synapses form. We are even seeing that some new neurons are created as a result of the chronic stimulation, and we believe this underlies the improvements we’ve observed.” The FDA has granted approval to initiate a first-in-human clinical trial using DBS to target the dentate nucleus of the cerebellum.

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“Deep brain stimulation has never before been used to help patients regain lost function,” Dr. Machado notes. “Our hope is that this will evolve into a treatment that helps people who have suffered neurological damage from stroke recover arm movement.”