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Cleveland Clinic Performs Groundbreaking Surgery on Stroke Patient

A photo of two surgeons
Cleveland Clinic
Researchers hope the new procedure will be used alongside physical therapy.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have completed the first human trial of a new procedure which uses deep brain stimulation to help patients recovering from a stroke.

The test patient suffered a stroke which paralyzed their left side. After a year of physical therapy, the patient underwent a procedure in which electrodes were implanted in a specific part of the brain. The electrodes connect to a device which generates electrical pulses.

Those pulses promote neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to form new connections.

Dr. Kenneth Baker is a neuroscientist at the Cleveland Clinic. He was part of the team that performed the surgery last month.

“The hope essentially is that as we turn on stimulation and continue the physical therapy, we’ll see an upshoot in motor recovery and function,” Baker said.

The clinical trial will establish whether or not the procedure can be done safely. Future work will look into its effectiveness.