Research work in Neurotechnology directs efforts towards treating chronic stroke

Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering

Scientific work undertaken at Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland has developed a rehabilitation arm in order to improve recovery during severe chronic strokes in patients.

Stroke is regarded as one of the major health problems among people today. A common symptom observed among cases of stroke is the long-term impairment of upper arm function. This results in complications in daily life chores and hampers the quality of life.

The Neurotechnology includes a host of therapies, like robotics, brain stimulation, brain-machine interfaces, etc. According to experts, these will in return be fruitful in treating patients, centering on their individual needs. Moreover, the new study also sheds light on longitudinal clinical studies in order to understand the rehabilitation benefits of individual therapies. Furthermore, the study also focuses on various combinations of complementary therapies used over a period of time.

“Our findings show that neurotechnology-aided upper limb rehabilitation is promising for severe chronic stroke patients. However, we also found that the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t lead to the best outcome. We suggest a move towards a personalized combination of neurotechnology-based stroke rehabilitation therapies, ideally in a home-based environment where prolonged therapy is more feasible than in a clinic. We believe that by sequentially introducing stroke therapies according to individual progress, we could allow patients to continue their recovery beyond what is possible today,” says Dr. Martina Coscia, lead author and Staff Engineer at Wyss Center.

As per experts, rehabilitation therapies show the best results within the first three months after the incidence of stroke. After the first three months, the scope of natural recovery is limited and patients are considered chronic, commonly observed scenario, especially among patients who are severely affected.

For the study, authors reportedly compared data from 64 cases of clinical studies based on upper limb neurotechnology treatments among stroke patients. The findings mainly centered on brain stimulation, electrical stimulation of muscles, and brain-computer interfaces, in addition to a combination of these.

Further reports suggest the team is directing efforts towards undertaking clinical traits in order to test the results. For the trial, experimental design such as robotics, functional electrical stimulation, brain-computer interfaces is used to monitor the after-effects of treatment in individual patients. Scientists believe to use a combination of neurotechnological and new personalized therapies in order to improve recovery among patients. The study published in the journal Brain alleges that the trial will begin in Switzerland in summer 2019.