Stroke Recovery Breakthrough


ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— Every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers a stroke, impacting a person’s ability to walk, to move and to speak. For most patients who survive, progress plateaus after six months of therapy. But now, a new brain-controlled breakthrough device is helping people regain the use of their hands, years, even decades, after their stroke. Stroke recovery.

With his poles and tackle box, Mark Forrest is off to do what he loves best. But Mark thought he had reeled in his last fish six years ago.

“He was slurring, he couldn’t move his hand. And, so I, I just told him, I said, ‘You’re having a stroke,” Pattie Forrest, Mark’s wife, told Ivanhoe.

Mark Forrest stated, “By the time I got to the hospital, my whole right side was dead.”

During the next six months, Mark gained a little movement back but not much.

“I was getting really depressed, I was like, ‘I gotta figure out something’,” Mark Forrest voiced.

That something was this. The first FDA cleared brain computer interface for chronic stroke survivors.

“This is the robotic exoskeleton portion of the Ipsyhand,” Eric Leuthardt, MD, a neurosurgeon at Washington University School of Medicine & Neurolutions Inc., shared.

(Read Full Interview)

Dr. Leuthardt created the exoskeleton that uses electrical signals in the brain to control hand movement.

Dr. Leuthardt explained, “Their brain essentially relearns how to use a different part of the brain to affect control of that paralyzed hand.”

A non-invasive headset picks up the brain signals through the scalp, sending the signals wirelessly to the robotic arm. A tablet walks the patient through exercises.

“It’s used to really retrain your brain to rewire your brain. So, you don’t need this system in the long run,” Dr. Leuthardt noted.

Patients who had their stroke six months ago or even ten years ago have seen improvement. As for Mark, he’s now able to fish again, and even built his own boat. Stroke recovery

“It’s just being out there is what I truly love. And I’m thankful I can do it,” Mark announced

Anyone who has suffered a stroke who has good cognitive function would be a candidate for this device. Neuroloutions hopes to have it available to everyone next year and believes it will be covered by Medicare.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4957

BACKGROUND: A stroke happens when the blood supply that flows to the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing the tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. As a result, brain cells can start to die in a few minutes. Fast treatment is crucial for stroke patients so that doctors can reduce brain damage and other complications. The two main causes of stroke are a blocked artery, and a leaking or bursting blood vessel. A complication of stroke can mean the patient becomes paralyzed on one side of their body or unable to control certain muscles on one side of their face or arm.


SYMPTOMS: Symptoms of a stoke are trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying, paralysis or numbness in the face, arm, or leg, problems seeing in one or both eyes, a headache, and trouble walking. There are lifestyle risk factors that may cause an increase in a patient’s stroke risk; for example, being overweight, inactive, heavy drinking, and use of illegal drug such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Medical risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, family history of strokes, and COVID-19. Complications of experiencing a stroke are paralysis or loss of muscle movement, difficulty swallowing, memory loss, emotional problems, pain and changes in behavior or the ability to care for themselves. Strokes can affect the upper limbs and patients may experience weakness, coordination issues, changes in muscle mass, swelling, and pain.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY: A brain-computer device has been approved by the FDA to help stroke patients experiencing paralysis regain motor and sensory skills. This non-invasive device relies on a wireless electrode headset and a battery powered robotic exoskeleton worn over the hand, wrist, and forearm. The hand device responds to the brain through the headset and moves the patient’s hand. This is part of a rehabilitation therapy and will only be provided to patients with a prescription.





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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Eric Leuthardt, MD, Neurosurgeon

Read the entire Q&A