Some time ago, we already wrote about successes.scientists in the field of application of such a method of therapy as neurostimulation. But, as it turned out, a long-known approach can have a lot of useful applications. For example, not so long ago, a group of researchers from the University of Birmingham (Great Britain) proposed the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for the rehabilitation of patients who are in a vegetative state.
How will neurostimulation help treat patients?
First, let's clarify a little what isvegetative state. If the word "coma" came to mind, then you almost guessed. The autonomic state of the brain is the lack of mental activity of the cerebral hemispheres (due to damage, for example) while maintaining the activity of some areas, which is most often manifested by the preservation of a number of reflexes.
Very soon, non-invasive brain stimulation shouldbe first tested along with advanced brain imaging techniques in a number of patients in a vegetative state. The study builds on promising results from the Center for Human Brain Health at the University of Birmingham. The ultimate goal of the work is to better understand how brain stimulation techniques can be used to improve the rehabilitation of patients with long-term consciousness disorder. Do you believe in the promise of such technology? Express your opinion in our official chat in Telegram.
Now scientists will work with five patients witha long-term consciousness disorder located at Wellington Hospital to study how a form of brain stimulation called transcranial stimulation (that is, without opening the cranium) and the effects of direct current will affect the patient’s brain.
Special electrodes andwith the help of direct current, they will try to stimulate the areas of the brain responsible for manifestations of consciousness and conscious motor activity. - says one of the authors of the work, Dr. Davinia Fernandez-Espejo. Different areas of our brain must have good connections between them in order to perform the necessary functions. Finding the right ways to stimulate this network of neurons, we can “improve” communications by helping the brain compensate for damaged pathways.
Naturally, stimulation will be carried outin short sessions, between which patients will be under strict supervision. Not only will the performance of the brain and the functions of the central nervous system be recorded, but it will also undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which reveals changes in blood flow when measuring activity in various areas of the brain.
See also: In Russia, an operation was performed to install a neurostimulator in the spinal cord
The latest research is the first step inthe study of new methods of diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for prolonged disorders of consciousness and autonomic conditions. In case of success of the upcoming experiment with five patients, scientists are aimed at deploying a larger clinical trial, in which they will look for such patients throughout the UK. And if even on such a large group the method proves its effectiveness, then we can safely say that one more not the most pleasant condition that a person may encounter is defeated.