Breakthrough Treatment Offers Hope for Stroke Recovery - November-03-12
Scientists at Ain Shams University in Egypt wanted to know if using
magnets to stimulate the neurons in the brains of stroke patients could
help them recover from their post-stroke paralysis. To find out, they
recruited a group of 60 stroke sufferers who had mild to moderate muscle
weakness down one side of the body.
The study participants were divided into three groups. One group
received magnetic stimulation to the half of the brain affected by the
stroke. The second group received magnetic stimulation to the half of
the brain not affected by the stroke, and the third group served as a
control and did not receive any magnetic stimulation.
The results were quite exciting.
Both treatment groups saw significant improvements. They gained more
control over fine motor movements like the ones used for writing or
cutting up food, and they also saw a measurable improvement in
bigger-muscle activities like walking as well.
In other words they were actually recovering from their paralysis and
not just learning to work around it, as is often the case with
Perhaps equally exciting was the finding that the success of the therapy
was not tied to the amount of time that had elapsed since a patient had
a stroke. In fact, the rTMS was just as effective for those
participants who had a stroke three years ago as it was for those who
had suffered one within the last month.
Unfortunately there arenít any rTMS-treatment centers in the United
States yet. But with the results of this latest research the therapy
will in all likelihood eventually be adopted as a regular tool in
In the meantime, you can check for any open clinical trials using rTMS
at clinicaltrials.gov. And if youíre willing to travel, you may want to
consider a visit to Canada for treatment.
by Alice Wessendorf