Revolutionary Study Reveals Spinal Cord Stimulation as an Effective Treatment for Restoring Arm and Hand Function after Stroke
A recent study has revealed that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) can prove to be a game-changer in restoring lost hand and arm function due to stroke. The research, carried out at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, found that stroke patients who underwent spinal cord stimulation along with the standard therapy showed significant improvements in hand and arm functions compared to those who only had standard therapy.
Details of the study
The study involved 20 stroke patients, each of whom had lost hand and arm function due to stroke. All participants underwent standard therapy, and in addition to that, ten were given SCS. SCS involves implanting a device under the skin that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord. These impulses interfere with the pain signals that travel between the spinal cord and brain.
As a result, the brain receives “false” signals that can block pain and improve arm and hand function. Researchers monitored the patients for over a year and found that those who had received SCS showed significant improvement in hand and arm function as compared to those who received standard therapy alone.
Results of the study
Notably, the SCS group reported a better response to standard therapy, with an improvement of up to 75% in arm and hand functions. On the other hand, the standard therapy-only group only showed a 25% improvement in their upper extremities. The participants in the SCS group were better able to perform daily activities like buttoning their shirts, brushing their teeth, and performing other actions that require motor function.
Implications of the study
The findings of this study have significant implications for stroke patients who currently face a lack of effective treatments for overcoming disability. With SCS, patients’ reliance on caregivers and assistive devices like wheelchairs can be reduced, enhancing their quality of life. Additionally, SCS can help patients to re-engage in activities that they had stopped doing due to their disability, lessening the chances of depression, anxiety and similar mental health disorders.
In conclusion, the findings of the study show that spinal cord stimulation has the potential to revolutionise the treatment options available for restoring hand and arm function after a stroke.
Furthermore, the results of the study demonstrate that SCS can provide hope for stroke patients who have lost part of their motor function and can’t seem to get it back with standard therapy alone.
Research like this offers optimism that emerging technologies can be employed to treat what was previously deemed untreatable disorders or conditions.
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