Tags: stroke | brain | stimulation | dysphagia

Brain Stimulation Aids Stroke Recovery

Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:35 AM

Electrical brain stimulation has been found to help stroke patients overcome a common swallowing disorder that can complicate recovery by increasing the risks of dehydration, malnutrition, and pneumonia.
Researchers from Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea effectively used the technique, which applies weak electrical currents to brain, to treat the swallowing condition – known as dysphagia – which typically leads to significant health complications and healthcare costs.
The findings, reported in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, highlight yet another way experts are using “transcranial direct current stimulation” (tDCS), which has also been used to treat Parkinson’s disease, depression and other brain disorders.
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"Our pilot study demonstrated that 10 daily sessions of tDCS …combined with swallowing training, improved post-stroke dysphagia,” said lead researcher Dr. Nam-Jong Paik. “We observed long-lasting effects of anodal tDCS over three months."
Researchers tested the therapy on 16 patients with acute post-stroke dysphagia. After three months, they found the treatment significantly improved the patients’ symptoms. None reported discomfort or fatigue.
Paik said the team will now conduct new studies, with more patients, “to determine the optimal intensity and duration of the treatment to maximize the long-term benefits."

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Electrical stimulation helps stroke patients overcome a common swallowing disorder that complicates recovery.
Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:35 AM
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