Stimulating specific brain area could help defrost arms frozen by stroke

White matter fiber architecture of the brain. Credit: Human Connectome Project. Little can be done to help the hundreds of thousands of people whose severe strokes have left them with one arm stuck close to the sides of their bodies like a broken wing. A 30-patient study by Washington researchers, however, has found that magnetically stimulating a specific part of their brains can affect arm movements—raising hope that, in the future, a short course of therapy targeting this area could help to free the arm and restore some use of the stroke-affected limb. The research, being presented at Neuroscience 2015, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, is the first to focus on the transient changes that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can affect in patients with severely disabling post-stroke…


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