Clinical Application of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Poststroke Symptoms: Wayne Feng, MD, FAHA


The division chief of stroke and vascular neurology at Duke Health discussed advantages and capabilities, as well as limitations and barriers of transcranial direct current stimulation to treat poststroke symptoms. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"Once you have one, then it becomes more variable, it sports competition, the costs will go down, and more patients can benefit."

Motor deficit is the most common physical complication after stroke and improving motor outcomes remains a challenge for this within the field. One emerging technique, transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), a noninvasive form of brain stimulation, has made progress as a facilitator for stroke recovery, and in 2021, the FDA approved the first-of-its-kind vagus nerve stimulation system to treat extremities associated with chronic stroke.

Stroke expert Wayne Feng, MD, FAHA, is currently leading a research study to see if TDCS at different dosage levels combined with an efficacy-proven rehabilitation therapy can improve arm function. Modified Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (mCIMT), the adjunctive rehab therapy being used, involves patients wearing a mitt on the hand of the arm that was not affected by a stroke, forcing them to use the weak arm. The study, which began in 2019, tests 3 different doses of brain stimulation in combination with mCIMT to find out which is most promising.

Feng, the division chief of stroke and vascular neurology at Duke Health, recently sat down with NeurologyLive® to provide insight on the trial, which is expected to include 129 patients. Additionally, he discussed the advantages and clinical application of TDCS, along with the challenges experienced with insurance.

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