UT Dallas researchers have good news for the 800,000 people who suffer strokes in the United States each year. A new therapy technique is doubling the recovery rate for stroke victims’ upper limbs, according to the UT Dallas news center.
The treatment is called targeted plasticity therapy, which stimulates the vagus nerve and accompanies traditional physical therapy, and UT Dallas researchers say it has proved to be twice as affective as traditional methods. A device implanted on the nerve of the neck sends electrical stimulus to help aid recovery. The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees unconscious functions such as circulation and digestion. A stroke is caused when there is a blockage of blood flow to the brain, and the stimulation helps the brain reorganize its circuits and recover movement.
The clinical trial included 17 stroke victims across the country, and was led by Dr. Jane Wigginton, the chief medical officer at UT Dallas’ Texas Biomedical Device Center (TxBDC) and an associate professor of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The study was published on Sept. 27 in the journal Stroke and funded by MicroTransponder in Austin, a spinoff company from UT Dallas.