Neurosurgeon’s Abstract on DBS for Stroke Damage Repair Honored at Neuromodulation Congress

First demonstration of potential for selective nerve growth after injury

A preclinical Cleveland Clinic investigation on the potential of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to aid the brain’s formation of new neural connections during stroke recovery is among the five winning abstracts in the International Neuromodulation Society’s inaugural best abstract competition. The winners were announced at the society’s 12th World Congress, being held this week in Montreal.

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The research was led by neurosurgeon Andre Machado, MD, PhD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Neurological Restoration. His team’s abstract is titled “DBS of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway selectively modulates glutamatergic and gabaergic neurogenesis in the perilesional cortex after stroke.”

First demonstration of DBS potential for selective nerve growth after focal injury

The abstract suggests that DBS may aid the brain’s plasticity and ability to form new neural connections during recovery from stroke. It outlines observations in rats showing that DBS promoted growth of neurons that specialize in release of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which aids learning and memory.

The findings build on previous work from Dr. Machado’s research team showing that DBS enhanced motor recovery after stroke. This abstract expands on that work by demonstrating that the effect is linked to enhanced formation of new neural connections in the damaged area.

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The researchers believe this is the first time that DBS therapy has shown the potential for selective nerve growth after focal injury, implying a possible neurorestorative potential.

“As with any new finding, the research remains preliminary,” Dr. Machado cautions. “We need to replicate these findings before expanding further on the research.”

Selected from over 350 abstracts

The International Neuromodulation Society’s scientific program committee selected this and the other four winning abstracts from among more than 350 received. Entries were judged for their quality, originality and ingenuity.

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All abstract submissions accepted for presentation at the congress will be published online in the society’s journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface.