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Combination Therapy Shown to Improve Function in Stroke Patients

San Diego Convention Center: International Stroke Conference 2014 hosted by the American Heart Association Over 4 million people in the US are living with the after-effects of stroke. Now a new study whose finding were featured at the ISC 2014 offers hope to stroke survivors.

Alpharetta, GA, February 19, 2014 --( Every 2 Seconds Someone in the World Suffers a Stroke

Today 40% of Stroke Survivors are left with moderate to severe impairments. A study from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago approached stroke rehabilitation through a new combination of therapies which produced significantly greater gains in patients’ motor function 6 months post stroke. The combination of non-invasive navigated transcranial stimulation (nTMS) along with occupational therapy (OT) opened the door to improving the quality of life for stroke survivors. The study (presentation #152) presented Thursday at the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference, yielded results for the active group of improved function by 13+ points in the UEFM score. It also showed over 80% of the active group receiving a clinically meaningful response rate.

“Research is focusing on minimalizing the effects of whatever disabling disease they have by using the best science we have available.”
- Dr. Richard Harvey, Medical Director, Center for Stroke Rehabilitation, RIC

The Study (presentation #152):
Dr. Richard Harvey and his team at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) presented their research which took a look at the combination of non-invasive nTMS along with OT in post-stroke patients.

“It’s just immeasurable the progress that I have made.”
- Dwayne Nelson, Stroke Trial Patient

Treatment consisted of 20 minutes of pre-functional OT, 17 minutes of nTMS, followed by 60 minutes of upper-limb task oriented OT. Patients received treatment during 3 visits per week for 6 weeks. They then returned for follow up visits at 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months. The study found that Nexstim’s non-invasive Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) System used as an adjunct to therapy promoted lasting improvements in patients motor function compared to the sham group.

“What we found is that there are areas of the brain usually where the lesion is that are less active than they used to be, and there are actually areas on the brain on the opposite hemisphere, the healthy area of the brain, that are more active than it used to be.”
– Lynn Rogers, PhD, Director, Neuralplasticity Laboratory, RIC

The Technology:
The NBS System uses stereotactic MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to non-invasively modulate precise areas of the motor cortex. The system’s e-field based targeting tool allows the therapist to accurately locate the patients exact stimulation location using technology similar to mapping the globe with a GPS. The nTMS was used to stimulate the patient’s non-injured hemisphere at a low frequency. The results regulated the excitability of the brain, which down-regulated the healthy side of the brain. Adding navigation to TMS is the key to finding the exact location and orientation of the e-field of the motor area that should be inhibited by stimulation. This targeted stimulation has been proven to correlate with DCS (Direct Cortical Stimulation – in the OR).

“I’m very excited to see the results of using our therapy approach from the top US rehabilitation institution with these post-acute stroke patients. We are very dedicated to making this available in the future for everyone suffering post-stroke deficits in their upper limbs.”
- Janne Huhtala, CEO, Nexstim

About the International Stroke Conference:
The AHA and ASA present the annual International Stroke Conference, the world’s largest meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease. The cutting-edge presentations selected attract researchers throughout the fields of cerebrovascular function and disease.

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago:
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the largest rehabilitation research enterprise in the world, and the nation’s #1-ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Ranked #1 by both U.S. News and World Report and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, RIC holds an unparalleled market distinction. Founded in 1954, RIC has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991.

About Nexstim:
Founded in 2000, Nexstim is committed to improving the quality of life of patients with significant unmet clinical needs. The advanced technology providing navigation to TMS has led to Nexstim being the world leader in image-guided TMS.

“The Nexstim machine is amazing.” - Darryl Holmes, Stroke Trial Patient

Nexstim has FDA-clearance of the NBS System for non-invasive pre-surgical mapping, recognizing NBS as the emerging standard for pre-operative direct functional mapping. Nexstim’s NBS System enables treatment of brain injury and disease using rTMS with accurate and repeatable 3D-guidance of therapeutic electrical field.

Nexstim’s non-invasive NBS System is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for therapy in commercial use in the United States and is available to select physician for investigational use only.

Media Contacts:
Nexstim Jaime Bloom +1-404-358-7440
Cari Dinneen
Contact Information
Jaime Bloom
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Cari Dinneen +1-312-238-4571

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