Nerve stimulation may offer a new treatment option for stroke (stroke).
A new nerve stimulation therapy aimed at increasing blood flow could help stroke patients up to 24 hours after onset.
A study of 1,000 patients found that this technique, called "active nerve cell cluster stimulation," reduced the degree of disability in patients three months after an ischemic stroke. This type of stroke, very common, affects the brain surface. Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of research published in The Lancet, says: for us, "this is the advent of a brand new treatment for patients with acute ischemic stroke".
Compensate for injuries
The two treatments currently used to treat acute stroke open clogged arteries by dissolving or removing a clot. Here, the new approach applies electrical stimulation to the nerve cells behind the nose, thereby increasing blood circulation in the brain. This dilates undamaged arteries and bypasses the blockage to treat the area of the brain at risk.
This new technique preserves the blood-brain barrier *, and improves the ability of neurons to compensate for injuries and form new connections.
Of 520 people who had significant deficits and confirmed cerebral cortex lesions, 40% of those who did not receive stimulation performed well, compared with 50% of those who received stimulation. The treatment is effective when administered eight to 24 hours after the onset of stroke.
5 million people worldwide die from stroke each year
A stroke, also known as "stroke", is a sudden loss of function of a part of the brain, caused either by a sudden stop of blood flow inside a cerebral artery, or by the rupture of an artery with bleeding in the skull, or the brain.
The severity of the stroke will depend on the location and extent of the affected brain areas. Indeed, each area of the brain is specialized (motor skills or sensitivity of the hand, arm of the leg, speech, vision ...). A localized accident will therefore remove a function in part, or in full. This explains why a person can have physical sequelae of a stroke (paralysis of a part of the body or face, decrease or disappearance of vision, speech problems ...).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 5 million people worldwide die from stroke each year and 15 million suffer non-fatal stroke. In France, it is estimated that between 120,000 and 130,000 people suffer each year.
* The blood-brain barrier is a physiological barrier present in the brain, between the bloodstream and the central nervous system.