Navigation Links
UT Dallas researchers find early success in new treatment for stroke recovery
Date:10/1/2013

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have taken a step toward developing a new treatment to aid the recovery of limb function after strokes.

In a study published online in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, researchers report the full recovery of forelimb strength in animals receiving vagus nerve stimulation.

"Stroke is a leading cause of disability worldwide," said Dr. Navid Khodaparast, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and lead author of the study. "Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke. Our results mark a major step in the development of a possible treatment."

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an FDA-approved method for treating various illnesses, such as depression and epilepsy. It involves sending a mild electric pulse through the vagus nerve, which relays information about the state of the body to the brain.

Khodaparast and his colleagues used vagus nerve stimulation precisely timed to coincide with rehabilitative movements in rats. Each of the animals had previously experienced a stroke that impaired their ability to pull a handle.

Stimulation of the vagus nerve causes the release of chemicals in the brain known to enhance learning and memory called neurotransmitters, specifically acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Pairing this stimulation with rehabilitative training allowed Khodaparast and colleagues to improve recovery.

Many rehabilitative interventions try to enhance neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to change) in conjunction with physical rehabilitation to drive the recovery of lost functions, according to Khodaparast. Unfortunately, up to 70 percent of stroke patients still display long-term impairment in arm function after traditional rehabilitation.

"For years, the majority of stroke patients have received treatment with various drugs and/or physical rehabilitation," Khodaparast said. "Medications can have widespread effects in the brain and the effects can last for long periods of time. In some cases the side effects outweigh the benefits. Through the use of VNS, we are able to use the brain's natural way of changing its neural circuitry and provide specific and long lasting effects."

"Through the use of VNS, we are able to use the brain's natural way of changing its neural circuitry and provide specific and long lasting effects." Dr. Navid Khodaparast, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Khodaparast acknowledged the study has some limitations. For example, the animals were young and lacked some of the other illnesses that accompany an aged human population, such as diabetes or hypertension. But Khodaparast and his colleagues said they are optimistic about vagus nerve stimulation as a future tool. They will continue testing in chronically impaired animals with the hopes of translating the technique for stroke patients. Working with MicroTransponder Inc., a partner company in the current study, researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have begun a small-scale trial in humans.

"There is strong evidence that VNS can be used safely in stroke patients because of its extensive use in the treatment of other neurological conditions," said Dr. Michael Kilgard, professor in neuroscience at UT Dallas and senior author of the study.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Porter
ben.porter@utdallas.edu
972-883-2193
University of Texas at Dallas
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UT Dallas researchers pushing the boundaries of virtual reality
2. UT Dallas researchers awarded $4.3 million to create next-generation technologies
3. University of Utah researchers receive NIH Directors New Innovator Award
4. UC Davis researchers discover a biological link between diabetes and heart disease
5. Researchers use smart phone photography to diagnose eye disease
6. University of Maryland researchers studying vaccine to prevent potential bird flu pandemic
7. Clemson researchers: Different forage affects beef cattle weight, taste
8. New HIV-1 replication pathway discovered by NYU College of Dentistry researchers
9. Rensselaer researchers create accurate computer model of RNA tetraloop
10. Researchers hit virtual heads to make safer games
11. UAlberta medical researchers discover how immune system kills healthy cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Baltimore biotech firm, ... Maryland Biohealth community in developing and issuing recommendations to grow Maryland's biohealth industry ... Hub by 2023. , The recommendations are contained in a ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... In response ... treating gait disorders, Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. announces the release of their Gait Trainer ... has been joined with a biomedical system to aid in rehabilitating individuals with cerebral ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II (“GPP”) portfolio company, today announced two ... size over the past six months with the acquisition of businesses in Belgium and ... Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 years of experience in finance and ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare ... of the UDIs and Traceability for Medical Devices conference in Brussels, Belgium. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: