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New Stroke Therapy Produced Significant Gains in Motor Function Post-Stroke

14 February 2014

San Diego Convention Center: International Stroke Conference 2014

SAN DIEGO, California—2/14/14--Today only an average of 50% of stroke survivors recovers full use of their arm. A study from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago approached stroke rehabilitation through a new combination of therapies which produced significantly greater gains in patients´ motor function 6 months post stroke. The combination of non-invasive navigated transcranial stimulation (nTMS) along with occupational therapy opened the door to improving the quality of life for stroke survivors. The study (presentation #152) presented Thursday at the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association´s (ASA) International Stroke Conference, yielded results from the active group of improved function by 13+ points in the UEFM score. It also showed over 80% of the active group received a clinically meaningful response rate

"It helped me greatly. It´s just immeasurable the progress that I have made." 
- Dwayne Nelson
Stroke Trial Patient

"The results obtained in the Contrastim trial provide evidence that non-invasive neurostimulation has major potential for improving motor function in stroke sufferers. Nexstim is committed to improving the quality of life of these patients with significant unmet clinical needs."
- Jarmo Laine, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Nexstim 

Stroke Statistics:

  • 1 in 6 people in the world will suffer a stroke in their lifetime
  • Every 40 seconds someone in the US suffers from a stroke 
  • Every 2 seconds someone in the world suffers a stroke
  • 2 million people in Europe suffer a stroke each year
  • Every 6 seconds someone will be disabled due to a stroke
  • 40% of stroke survivors are left with moderate to severe impairments
  • Over 4 million people in the US and 10 million in Europe are living with the after-effects of stroke

About The Study:

The Contrastim Stroke Study: Improving Hand and Arm Function After Stroke with Combined Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Task-Oriented Therapy (presentation #152)

"The Nexstim machine is amazing! I want stock in this company"
- Darryl Holmes
Stroke Trial Patient

Dr. Richard Harvey and his team at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) presented their trial results that have shown improved outcomes for patients 3-9 months post stroke. The research took a look at the combination of non-invasive navigated transcranial stimulation (nTMS) along with occupational therapy (OT) in post-stroke patients. The study identified 30 patients who tested with a baseline with severe impairment based on the upper extremity Fugl Meyer (UEFM)i. Ten of the patients were assigned to the sham group.

"What we found is that there are areas of the brain usually where the lesion is that are less active than they used to be, and there are actually areas on the brain on the opposite hemisphere, the healthy area of the brain, that are more active than it used to be." 
- Lynn Rogers, PhD

Treatment consisted of 20 minutes of pre-functional occupational therapy, 17 minutes of nTMS, followed by 60 minutes of upper limb task-oriented OT. Patients received treatment during 3 visits per week for 6 weeks, the standard of care in the US. They then returned for follow up visits at 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months. The study found that Nexstim´s non-invasive Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) System used as an adjunct to therapy promoted lasting improvements in patients' motor function.

About the Technology:

"Best science available today!
We are actually able to modulate healing, and I think this is the wave of the future
- Dr. Richard Harvey

The NBS System uses stereotactic MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to non-invasively modulate precise areas of the motor cortex. The system´s e-field based targeting tool allows the therapist to accurately locate the patients exact stimulation location using technology similar to navigating the globe with a GPS. The nTMS was used to stimulate the patient´s non-injured hemisphere at a low frequency. The results regulated the excitability of the brain, which down-regulated the healthy side of the brain. Adding navigation to TMS is the key to finding the exact location and orientation of the e-field of the motor area that should be inhibited by stimulation. The stimulation is then accurately repeated in every session, assuring the dose is applied to the correct place. This targeted stimulation has been proven to correlate with DCS (Direct Cortical Stimulation) - in the OR. 

"The trial results from the RIC, the top site in post-acute stroke rehab in the US, are showing great potential for non-invasive brain modulation and the difference Nexstim is providing is the proven navigation to enable this approach. We are dedicated to take this further and bring this to the market for the patient care."
- Janne Huhtala, CEO, Nexstim 

About the International Stroke Conference:

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association present the annual International Stroke Conference. The conference is the world´s largest meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease. The overall goal is developing more effective prevention and treatment. The cutting-edge presentations selected attract researchers throughout the fields of cerebrovascular function and disease. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago was selected to present their results from their study. The paper was selected by the American Heart Association and was featured in the Conference News Tips on Thursday, February 14th. The study results were chosen to be highlighted in a video interview of the research team and patients that participated in the trial in their AHA TV program. 

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago:

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the Nation´s #1-ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Ranked #1 by both U.S. News and World Report and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, RIC holds an unparalleled market distinction. Founded in 1954, RIC has been designated the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America" by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. 

RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs. With a record eight multi-year, multi-million dollar federal research designations awarded and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education´s National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, RIC operates the largest rehabilitation research enterprise in the world. Operating its 182-bed, flagship hospital in downtown Chicago, as well as a network of more than 40 sites of care distributed throughout the Midwest, through which it delivers inpatient, day rehabilitation, and outpatient services.

About Nexstim:

Founded in 2000, Nexstim is committed to improving the quality of life of patients with significant unmet clinical needs. The advanced technology providing navigation to TMS has led to Nexstim being the world leader in image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). 

Nexstim has pioneered the technology for brain diagnostics and with FDA-clearance of the Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) System for non-invasive pre-surgical mapping. NBS is recognized as the emerging standard for pre-operative direct functional mapping. Nexstim´s NBS System enables treatment of brain injury and disease using repetitive TMS (rTMS) with accurate and repeatable 3D-guidance of therapeutic electrical field. 

Nexstim´s non-invasive Navigated Brain Stimulation System is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for therapy in commercial use in the United States and is available to select physicians for investigational use only.

Media Contacts:

Jaime Bloom , +1-404-358-7440

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Cari Dinneen, +1-312-238-4571

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