Motor function improvement after stroke

stroke 300x150During November 2010, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre published the results of research they have been doing on stroke rehabilitation. The article in the illustrious journal, Neurology, reports how adding tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) to the rehabilitation programme gave stroke patients a THREE FOLD greater improvement in motor function, compared to those who only received standard rehabilitation.

Now, in clinical research, you are normally happy if you can prove that your test treatment beats the standard (control) treatment by a significant margin. To have a three fold increase in improvement over the standard therapy is massive, in scientific terms. To top it all, this study was done in patients whose stroke was at least 5 months old. I know from experience with patients that, the earlier you start treatment, the better the final outcome for the patient.

The researchers surmise that the improvement is due to the fact that the current gets the brain back into balance. What typically happens after a stroke is that the unaffected part takes over the functions of the damaged part. This dominance then means that the brain “forgets” about the damaged part, even if it regains function. So, a lot of the residual loss in motor function is not due to the stroke as such, but due to the brain “shunting” activity away from the damaged part. Cranial electrotherapy stimulation seems to reverse this, forcing the brain to use all parts in balance.

To replicate the electrode positions used in the study, switch your Elexoma to programme 6 and use a single body (MET) lead together with the pregelled electrodes. Place the black electrode on the smooth, hairless skin just behind the ear on the affected side. Place the red electrode just behind the ear on the side that did NOT have the stroke. Treat at 600 uAmp or thereabouts for 60 minutes a day. Repeat daily. You can also experiment by switching the black and red electrodes around – it can do no damage.

You can also use the standard CES programme (Programme 1, 25 minutes, 200 – 500 uAmp, once daily) to boost the brain of a stroke victim.

Both these programmes can be used on the same day for extra benefit, or alternate between days.

Here are some references to this research:

Medical Daily

Science Daily

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