Brain Stimulation to Help with Disability of Stroke
Treatment should be started as quickly as possible. Most return of function is seen in the first few months, and then improvement falls off as abnormal homeostasis sets-in. However, patients have been known to continue to improve for years, regaining and refining capabilities like writing, walking, running, and talking. The most complete recovery will occur when abnormal homeostasis (a kind of thalamocortical dysrhythmia) is prevented & plasticity is evoked.
In this regard, video games and especially VR (virtual reality) devices can be helpful modalities for intervention – because “imagery” is fundamental to re-learning to recruit functional activation. Relatively new brain stimulation methods such as rTMS or tDCS can help – and are most effective when coupled with intensive physiotherapy.