Monday, 3 October 2011

Electric shocks to the brain can help stroke patients' recovery

Stroke patients with brain damage can recover more quickly with the help of small electric currents applied to the head from electrodes on the skull, a study has found.

The tiny electric currents are believed to stimulate the re-growth of nerve connections in the brain that have been lost as a result of oxygen starvation caused by stroke, scientists said. Tests on a small group of healthy volunteers have shown significant improvements in the sort of brain activity that could also benefit stroke patients, the scientists said.

The research supports the idea that the brain can to some extent repair itself by rewiring and reconnecting itself to bypass damaged areas, according to Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg of Oxford University.

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