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:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  Vigilant Solutions announces today that ... are being used by Lee,s Summit ... recent location and arrest of a homicide suspect. ... covers around 65 square miles and is home to ... Department has a single mobile license plate reader system and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , February 8, 2016 ... payment platform which presents innovation for clients, comfort ... feature called VoiceKey. --> Worldcore ... presents innovation for clients, comfort and unbeatable security, ... --> Worldcore is the ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , February 3, 2016 ... market research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market by ... Search), Application (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 21.0% between 2015 and 2020. The transformation and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... ATLANTA , Feb. 11, 2016  Wellcentive ... a Portland, Oregon -based community ... to provide population health analytics, quality reporting and ... help FamilyCare strengthen its team of quality managers, ... reporting to the provider groups serving FamilyCare members. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... SANTA CRUZ, Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... accepting applications to its beta program for a planned ... co-founder, will present the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method ... 2016 Advances in Genome Biology & Technology conference in ... novo  assembly of these highly complex datasets is difficult. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016   BioInformant announces the February ... Research Products, Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies – Market Size, ... The first and ... cell industry, BioInformant has more than a decade of ... market, by stem cell type. This powerful 175 page ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... , ... Global Stem Cells Group, a world ... Cells Network (GSCN) to distribute exosome injection and other biological products to stem ... Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Puerto ...
Breaking Biology Technology: