Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuro researchers advocate for shift in thinking for stroke rehabilitation

Date:
July 30, 2014
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
A systematic shift in perspective has been proposed by neuroscientists, who suggest that chronically stimulating premotor areas of the brain would strongly promote stroke motor recovery, for example by restoring balance between the stroke and the intact hemispheres while establishing greater widespread connectivity.

With the advent of non-surgical modalities, stimulation of the brain has become a popular science and researchers must work to ensure systematic methods for consistent results in the study of stroke rehabilitation. A new study out today in The Neuroscientist discusses a systematic shift in perspective and suggests that chronically stimulating premotor areas (PMAs) of the brain would strongly promote stroke motor recovery, for example by restoring balance between the stroke and the intact hemispheres while establishing greater widespread connectivity.

Related Articles


"Before therapeutic potential of brain stimulation is missed amidst the enthusiasm for its ability to augment brain activity, it is urgent to systematically understand whom stimulation of the brain may benefit, how, and why," said study author Dr. Ela Plow from the Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Instt. at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. "Addressing the challenge first in stroke is critical, not just because stroke is the leading cause of long-term adult disability, but also because the field was one of the first to report on therapeutic potential of brain stimulation, but unfortunately the first to witness some of its most noted conflicts as well."

Using a conceptual model, researchers Ela B. Plow, David A. Cunningham, Nicole Varnerin, and Andre Machado suggest expanding the scope of stimulation to include other substrates, such as premotor and supplementary motor cortices that are more likely to survive damage in humans, offer their independent output, and collaborate with areas in the intact hemisphere to recruit their cooperation towards recovery as well. Rather than propose that these substrates could serve as the be-all-end-all of plasticity, the researchers suggest that their role may be more meaningful in those with greater damage and do not discount the possibility of success for other substrates such as cerebellum, striatum, parietal cortices etc.

Dr. Plow continued, "Conflicting evidence in stroke has dampened the enthusiasm for brain stimulation witnessed across several hundred early studies in the last decade, limiting the potential of clinical outpatient or even inpatient delivery in the immediate future. Before starting another clinical trial and waiting to see if by chance the new study shows positive effects, we suggest re-evaluating and shifting perspective."

The researchers outline the journey of stimulation in stroke rehabilitation from trials with homogeneous animal models, to early clinical studies where patients with greater sparing of motor cortices and spared output responded exceptionally well to stimulation of their residual cortex, to larger clinical trials that enrolled the more impaired such as those with greater damage to cortices, in which stimulation of motor cortices failed to uniformly augment outcomes of recovery.

With such differences among trial groups, the researchers found that a great discordance between early and later, larger clinical studies resulted. Dr. Plow commented, "By following a one-size-fits-all approach, we risk relying only on pure chance."

However, the researchers also found that this can be corrected with new thinking for brain stimulation research.

"Our intent here is to create a shift in perspective that forces us to broaden scope of stimulation from affecting a single target and a single mechanism to imagining how and what may remain to assume the potential for recovery in humans," Dr. Plow continued. "We even suggest that targets may not even need to be uniform across all, because it may leave outcomes of trials to pure chance. Instead, we believe systematically exploring substrates and defining successes and failures of each would truly create personalized, not popular science."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. B. Plow, D. A. Cunningham, N. Varnerin, A. Machado. Rethinking Stimulation of the Brain in Stroke Rehabilitation: Why Higher Motor Areas Might Be Better Alternatives for Patients with Greater Impairments. The Neuroscientist, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/1073858414537381

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Neuro researchers advocate for shift in thinking for stroke rehabilitation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730120248.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2014, July 30). Neuro researchers advocate for shift in thinking for stroke rehabilitation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730120248.htm
SAGE Publications. "Neuro researchers advocate for shift in thinking for stroke rehabilitation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730120248.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins