New Study Affirms Microcurrent Benefits in Stroke Rehab

A new study published in the journal Stroke affirms microcurrent therapy applied to the vagus nerve has direct benefits for stroke survivors.  The study from the University of Texas Dallas reports that applying microcurrent to the vagus nerve, located in the neck, stimulates the neuroplastic capacity of the brain.

Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain to reorganize or relocate the ways it manages certain functions in response to injury, illness or, sometimes, aging. This is especially important in traumatic brain injuries, such as the ones caused by stroke and impact-type injuries, that result in weakness or paralysis. This study found that applying microcurrent to the vagus nerve stimulates reorganization, so that people are able to perform lost functions again.

In this double-blind, placebo controlled study, members of the group that received only physical therapy improved an average of three points on arm-related scores using the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale, which measures recovery in stroke patients.  The group that received microcurrent stimulation to the vagus nerve along with physical therapy improved an average of nine points.  Patients receiving microcurrent therapy also reported greater range of motion and strength in their affected arms.

Patients in the study received three two-hour microcurrent stimulation sessions per week over a six-week period.  This procedure is similar to the treatment approach Soter Healthcare uses with our clients, although we prefer a ten week treatment plan using three sessions the first two weeks, with two per week for the rest of the plan.

“This study demonstrates that vagus nerve stimulation appears to improve the recovery that stroke patients make,” said Dr. Michael Kilgard, a professor of neuroscience at UT Dallas.

The American Stroke Associate reports nearly 800,000 people a year in the United States suffer a stroke.  Approximately 80% of stroke survivors are impacted by hemiparesis, a weakness on one side of the body that may last for the rest of their lives.

Soter Healthcare remains committed to helping stroke survivors recover the active lifestyle they enjoyed before their strokes.  Through our Destination Medical Care™ plans and wellness center services, we work with you to make that recovery possible.