The analysis of several studies and scientific publications have helped the American scientists to find out an effective method of recovery of the limb after stroke. Their findings are shared in the journal European Journal of Neurology.
All the authors analyzed 29 studies in which in total took part 351 post-stroke patient, and 152 healthy volunteers. It turned out that for the restoration of limbs after a stroke it is necessary to conduct a noninvasive micropolarization and magnetic stimulation of the motor areas of the cerebral cortex. In addition, the researchers note, such stimulation also improves motor skills in your non-dominant hand of healthy people.
Stroke patients often have difficulties with functioning limbs, often arms. Rehabilitation can help restore or partially restore the normal functioning of the limbs, but only during the first six months: after this period the chances of successful recovery are minimal. The main method of rehabilitation is still considered physiotherapy and exercise lost fine motor skills. The recovery process, however, can be tedious and difficult for the patient.
Another method, quite promising — stimulation of the cerebral cortex. Sensorimotor areas of the brain responsible for processing motion and Sasani located in the frontal lobes around the Central sulcus. Being a part of the cerebral cortex, this area is quite easy to stimulate: and how using embedded electrodes and non-invasive — using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or micropolarization. While non-invasive stimulation method is not very precise: the cortex is stimulated across the scalp, so it is often possible to achieve only a rough, reflective of motor response.
Of course, for the recovery of precise movements (e.g. writing or grasping objects), the stimulation should be as accurate as possible; this task is a non-invasive stimulation is to restore basic motor skills, and accurate are studied infrequently. To summarize the known data about the use of non-invasive stimulation in the rehabilitation of fine motor skills, scientists under the direction of Aurora Thibault conducted a meta-analysis of studies on the use of non-invasive methods of brain stimulation for restoring precise movements of the upper limbs in patients and improvements in healthy people in non-primary hand (right for lefties and left for righties).
After analyzing the data, researchers found that rhythmic TMS (RTMs — stimulation short magnetic pulses) is effective in restoring the function of limbs post-stroke patients. For healthy participants was available only with the use of micropolarization: it has proved effective, both for them and for patients undergoing rehabilitation.
Thus, the methods of non-invasive stimulation of the cerebral cortex may be effective to restore or improve function of limbs. The authors hope that their results will lead to more frequent use of such a method of recovery after a stroke in practice and not only in the framework of the research.