The Cleveland Clinic has performed what it calls the "first deep brain stimulation surgery for stroke recovery," which it says is part of an ongoing clinical trial assessing the procedure's potential to improve movement in patients recovering from stroke.
In a news release issued Wednesday morning, Jan. 4, the Clinic said a team led by Dr. Andre Machado, chairman of the Clinic's Neurological Institute, performed the deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery on Dec. 19, 2016.
During the six-hour procedure, the Clinic said, "electrodes were implanted in a part of the patient's brain called the cerebellum, which has extensive connections with the cerebral cortex." DBS electrodes, connected to a pace-maker, "provide small electric pulses as a way to help people recover control of their movements," the Clinic said in the release.
Dr. Machado said in a statement that if the research succeeds, "it is a new hope for patients that have suffered a stroke and have remained paralyzed after a stroke. It is an opportunity to allow our patients to rehabilitate and gain function and therefore gain independence."
The Clinic said the patient has been "discharged home feeling well and in stable condition." Over the next few weeks, the patient will continue to heal and recover from the brain surgery, and then will take part in physical therapy, the Clinic said. After a few weeks of rehabilitation, the DBS device will be turned on, and the patient "will be monitored and evaluated regularly to determine how DBS can boost the effects of physical therapy," according to the Clinic.
"In addition to characterizing the effect of treatment on motor recovery, we will examine directly how stimulation affects brain activity using a combination of non-invasive imaging and electrophysiological techniques," said Kenneth Baker, Ph.D., of the Clinic's Department of Neurosciences and co-principal investigator on the research grant for the DBS procedure.
The Clinic said Machado's previous research "has shown that DBS targeting the same brain pathway in a laboratory model promotes the brain's plasticity, the ability to form new neural connections, during recovery from stroke."
Additional information about the trial can be found here.
The Clinic said Machado patented the DBS method in stroke recovery. Boston Scientific owns a license to the patents and provided the Vercise DBS systems used in the trial, according to the release.
In 2010, Cleveland Clinic Innovations established a for-profit spin-off company, Enspire DBS Therapy to fund the clinical trial and commercialize the method. The Clinic disclosed that Machado holds stock options and equity ownership rights with Enspire and serves as the chief scientific officer. Boston Scientific recently invested $2.5 million in Enspire DBS.
"Cleveland Clinic doctors perform groundbreaking stroke surgery" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.