Deep brain stimulation after stroke - starting human trials
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure in which electrodes are implanted in the brain to provide small electric pulses as a way to help activate a part of your brain and control movements.
The Cleveland Clinic was just given approval to start the first human trials of DBS for stroke.
DBS has never been used on humans as a way to regain function. It has been used with Parkinson's disease, to help decrease tremors. Studies on rats post-stroke have shown that DBS creates more proteins in the brain that are associated with brain plasticity (re-learning) and twice as many connections between nerve cells compared to rats post-stroke without DBS.
If successful, DBS could become a treatment used in tandem with physical rehabilitation to boost the effects of both treatments and make recovery greater.