It’s the initial period following a stroke that’s considered the most critical since this is when the brain is essentially re-programmed and re-stimulated to compensate for any stroke-related damage. A University of Oxford study has found success with electric brain stimulation included as part of the rehabilitation process for stroke patients.
Targeting the Damaged Part of the Brain
Transcranial direct current stimulation involves the application of a low current via strategically placed electrodes. The study involved the use of a variation on the procedure, which has also been used to boost motor skills in otherwise healthy individuals, targeted at the part of the brain affected by the stroke.
Reinforcing Re-Training Methods
According to Westport elderly care professionals, people who have suffered a stroke have difficulty with certain motor skills, usually on one side of the body, although speech can also be affected too.
It’s hoped that electronic brain stimulation will be able to reinforce existing techniques used to help patients relearn what was lost during the stroke.
Improving Motor Skills
Patients studied received motor skill retraining combined with electric brain stimulation for 3 months. Another group only had the motor retraining without tDCS. Those who had treatment combined with electric brain stimulation exhibited a better use of their hands and arms that included increased capabilities with lifting, reaching, and grasping.
A Challenging and Rewarding Experience
One participant described the electric stimulation as a “mild tingle.” Some patients do find it grueling to continue with the therapy initially, although experiencing gradual improvement tended to make subsequent sessions more productive for those studied.
MRI scanning did show an increase in brain activity in those who received tDCS, offering proof that stimulation can be beneficial when applied to the right area of the brain. More research is needed before the technique is applied on a larger scale, although early results are encouraging.
Learn more about promoting senior wellness after illness or injury by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Westport, ensuring seniors have comprehensive in-home support to maintain a happy, healthy life in the comfort of home. For more information, call 203-955-1915 and schedule a free in-home consultation.