Neurostimulation for treatment of post-stroke impairments

Nat Rev Neurol. 2024 Apr 3. doi: 10.1038/s41582-024-00953-z. Online ahead of print.


Neurostimulation, the use of electrical stimulation to modulate the activity of the nervous system, is now commonly used for the treatment of chronic pain, movement disorders and epilepsy. Many neurostimulation techniques have now shown promise for the treatment of physical impairments in people with stroke. In 2021, vagus nerve stimulation was approved by the FDA as an adjunct to intensive rehabilitation therapy for the treatment of chronic upper extremity deficits after ischaemic stroke. In 2024, pharyngeal electrical stimulation was conditionally approved by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for neurogenic dysphagia in people with stroke who have a tracheostomy. Many other approaches have also been tested in pivotal device trials and a number of approaches are in early-phase study. Typically, neurostimulation techniques aim to increase neuroplasticity in response to training and rehabilitation, although the putative mechanisms of action differ and are not fully understood. Neurostimulation techniques offer a number of practical advantages for use after stroke, such as precise dosing and timing, but can be invasive and costly to implement. This Review focuses on neurostimulation techniques that are now in clinical use or that have reached the stage of pivotal trials and show considerable promise for the treatment of post-stroke impairments.

PMID:38570705 | DOI:10.1038/s41582-024-00953-z