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Vagus nerve stimulation: A ray hope for stroke patients

There is a new hope of improvement in the condition of people suffering from paralysis and weakness due to stroke. According to a study published in the journal, Stroke, conducted by researchers of UT Dallas, vagus nerve stimulation technology (VNS) aids the recovery of patients from stroke. The treatment has been found to be safe.

Dr. Michael Kilgard, professor and co-author of the study, states that with this new technology chances of alleviating the consequences of stroke can be improved upon.
VNS, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is used for treatment of illnesses like depression and epilepsy. In this technology vagus nerve in the neck is stimulated by a mild electric impulse which helps in relaying information to the brain about the condition of the body and initiates a process called neural plasticity to reorganize.

The study was conducted for six weeks on 20 patients suffering from arm weakness following stroke and were randomly placed in two groups: those who had undergone rehabilitation therapy and others who also received VNS therapy along with rehabilitation therapy. It was found that the first group when measured on Fugl-Meyer assessment scale improved only by three points whereas the other group showed an improvement by

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