Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation with concurrent upper limb repetitive task practice for poststroke motor recovery: A pilot study.

REDGRAVE, Jessica N, MOORE, Lucy, OYEKUNLE, Tosin, EBRAHIM, Maryam, FALIDAS, Konstantinos, SNOWDON, Nicky, ALI, Ali and MAJID, Arshad (2018). Transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation with concurrent upper limb repetitive task practice for poststroke motor recovery: A pilot study. Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases : the official journal of National Stroke Association, 27 (7), 1998-2005.

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Invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has the potential to enhance the effects of physiotherapy for upper limb motor recovery after stroke. Noninvasive, transcutaneous auricular branch VNS (taVNS) may have similar benefits, but this has not been evaluated in stroke recovery. We sought to determine the feasibility of taVNS delivered alongside upper limb repetitive task-specific practice after stroke and its effects on a range of outcome measures evaluating limb function. Thirteen participants at more than 3 months postischemic stroke with residual upper limb dysfunction were recruited from the community of Sheffield, United Kingdom (October-December 2016). Participants underwent 18 × 1-hour sessions over 6 weeks in which they made 30-50 repetitions of 8-10 arm movements concurrently with taVNS (NEMOS; Cerbomed, Erlangen, Germany, 25 Hz, .1-millisecond pulse width) at maximum tolerated intensity (mA). An electrocardiogram and rehabilitation outcome scores were obtained at each visit. Qualitative interviews determined the acceptability of taVNS to participants. Median time after stroke was 1.16 years, and baseline median/interquartile range upper limb Fugl-Meyer (UFM) score was 63 (54.5-99.5). Participants attended 92% of the planned treatment sessions. Three participants reported side effects, mainly fatigue, but all performed mean of more than 300 arm repetitions per session with no serious adverse events. There was a significant change in the UFM score with a mean increase per participant of 17.1 points (standard deviation 7.8). taVNS is feasible and well-tolerated alongside upper limb repetitive movements in poststroke rehabilitation. The motor improvements observed justify a phase 2 trial in patients with residual arm weakness. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2018 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router. ** History: received 08-01-2018; revised 06-02-2018; accepted 25-02-2018.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stroke, plasticity, rehabilitation, vagus nerve stimulation
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1998-2005
SWORD Depositor: Margaret Boot
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 13:03
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:22

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