Is deep-brain stimulation only beneficial for Parkinson’s patients, or might it be helpful for stroke recovery in elderly people as well? Doctors at Cleveland Clinic are determined to find out the answer. Deep-brain stimulation involves the implantation of an electrode to stimulate a certain area of the brain. Doctors are hoping that the end result will be an end to the paralysis people often experience after a stroke.
To understand how a stroke hinders normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a home whose front entrance has all of a sudden become blocked by a fallen tree. In her studies, she’s determined to evade that blockage and access different paths that can help regain as much functionality to the person as possible.
To operate in conjunction 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, delivering the electrical impulses that he hopes will encourage brain growth. Depending on the results of this trial, various other conditions are lined up 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.”
Home Matters, is going to be keeping an eye on developments in this trial. In the meantime, if you have a family member who’s suffered a stroke, call us for home care assistance to maximize his or her wellbeing. We’re able to provide support in the following ways:
- Preparing healthy meals according to any prescribed dietary plan.
- Helping with light housekeeping and laundry.
- Conducting a safety evaluation of the home to reduce fall risks.
- Providing escorted transport to health appointments or other outings.
- Picking up prescription drugs and running errands.
- And, much more.