Non-invasive brain stimulation helps stroke patients gain prolonged language recovery

Non-invasive brain stimulation helps stroke patients gain prolonged language recovery

A new study details a technique developed by researchers to improve language function in stroke patients with chronic speech-language impairment.

via ScienceDaily: Top Health News:

July 2, 2013 — A new study details of a technique developed by researchers to improve language function in stroke patients with chronic speech-language impairment. The study is published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).Strokes occur when a brain clot blocks blood flow in parts of the brain, essentially starving groups of neurons of oxygen, which is necessary for normal function. Nearly 130,000 of the 795,000 strokes Americans suffer annually result in death, accounting for roughly 5% of deaths in the U.S. The remaining 665,000 stroke patients suffer a wide variety of side effects ranging from complete loss of motor function to loss of speech to a catatonic state. Because of the horrific nature of these cerebrovascular events and their consequences, many clinical researchers focus on prevention, rehabilitation and restoration of function for stroke victims.A technique developed through these efforts utilizes transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to improve language function in stroke patients with chronic aphasia. Patients who have undergone this procedure have previously reached a plateau in their ability to produce fluent language, despite signs of understanding and frustration at their inability to communicate.”The heart of our work is to use non-invasive brain stimulation… to modulate cortical networks that we think are in flux. We think that those circuits in the brain do remodel and that we can tweak them further using non-invasive stimulation,” explains Roy Hamilton, M.D., the co-director of the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He continues, “For most people the left hemisphere plays a dominant role in our language capacity. The brain does have the capacity to reorganize itself and rework some of the network and geography that represents specific cognitive skills.”Transcranial magnetic stimulation was first successfully performed in 1985 by Anthony Barker and his colleagues in Sheffield, UK. The technique takes advantage of an aspect of physics derived from the Biot-Savart Law, which states that a current running through a wire generates a magnetic field. …

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ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Non-invasive brain stimulation helps stroke patients gain prolonged language recovery

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