For the first time ever, a treatment option that’s become increasingly popular in Parkinson’s patients – deep-brain stimulation – is being tested for stroke rehabilitation. Physicians are hoping that the end result of the deep-brain stimulation treatment – which involves implanting an electrode to stimulate a certain portion of the brain – will restore mobility in stroke patients and put an end to the paralysis that so many often experience after a stroke.
To understand how a stroke restricts normal brain activity, Laurie Ann Bonkoski, a speech therapist, compares a stroke to a home whose front door has suddenly become obstructed by a fallen tree. And in her studies, she’s determined to go around that obstruction and access some other paths to help reestablish as much functionality to the person as possible.
To operate in tandem with therapy to create new neural pathways, Dr. Andre Machado of the Cleveland Clinic implanted the very first deep-brain stimulating electrode into a stroke patient as the initial step in this clinical human trial. The next step will be to turn it on, transmitting the electrical impulses that he hopes will promote brain growth. Depending on the results of this trial, a number of other conditions are in line for comparable 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 Sweet Home In-Home Care of Kalamazoo is going to be keeping an eye on developments in this stroke rehabilitation research. Meanwhile, if you have someone you love who’s suffered a stroke, call us at 269-224-1683 for home care in Kalamazoo or the surrounding area to improve his or her quality of life. We are able to provide support in the following ways:
- Planning and preparing healthy meals in accordance with any prescribed dietary plan
- Assisting with light cleaning and laundry
- Conducting a safety assessment of the home to help reduce fall risks
- Providing escorted transportation to health care appointments or other excursions
- Picking up medications and running errands
- And much, much more