Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
PI: Kenneth B. Baker
Modulation of Interhemispheric Inhibition for the Treatment of Stroke
The goal of this study is to determine whether electrical stimulation of certain brain regions can be used to improve recovery in patients with motor deficits following stroke or other types of brain damage. In some cases of subcortical stroke, a type of stroke where the damage occurs deep in the brain, there is limited opportunity for recovery as the fibers that connect the brain to the body have been destroyed. There is evidence that the opposite side of the brain may have a latent ability to assume motor function over the side of the body that is impaired, but this ability is limited by ongoing interactions that occur between the two sides of the brain by way of the corpus callosum. To address this, this researcher proposes to disrupt this communication between the two sides of the brain by electrically stimulating the corpus callosum in an animal model of stroke. The effect of stimulation on both motor recovery and the motor representation of the side of the body affected by the stroke will be monitored over time. New treatments that can further enhance recovery of function after strokes are necessary and, if proven efficacious, will have a dramatic impact given the combined high incidence and prevalence of neurological deficits and the high economic cost from stroke in the general population.