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ESOC 2021 | Promising neurostimulation techniques to promote stroke recovery

Nerve stimulation techniques have been investigated in stroke recovery for a long time because of their known impacts on neuronal plasticity and task-specific learning. Jesse Dawson, MD, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, discusses the promise of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) to promote upper extremity function recovery after a stroke. Evidence of improved motor function using VNS in the recent pivotal VNS-REHAB trial (NCT03131960) led to the FDA approval of a first-of-its-kind, drug-free rehabilitation system intended to treat moderate to severe upper extremity motor deficits associated with chronic ischemic stroke. Nerve stimulation to improve dysphagia and stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion to improve blood flow following an acute stroke are also being investigated. Despite the promising data for the clinical implementation of these techniques, Prof. Dawson highlights the need for further investigation and hopes to see advances in therapeutics promoting stroke recovery in the next five to ten years. This interview took place at the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC), 2021.


Prof. Dawson reports the following disclosures:
My institution received reimbursement for participant enrolment into trials of VNS and I received reimbursement for travel costs and conference registration to present study data.