Coulter Foundation Awards 2nd Year of Funding for Stroke Rehabilitation Research

Posted on April 2010

Vivek Prabhakaran MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Neuroradiology and Justin Williams PhD, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering received a 2nd year of funding from the Coulter Foundation totaling $90,000 for the proposal “A Closed Loop Neural Activity Triggered Stroke Rehabilitation Device.” This project proposes to do a preclinical efficacy trial on a prototype stroke rehabilitation device. The device will consist of three components; 1) an EEG sensor system for detecting real-time volitional command signals from motor cortex, 2) a functional electrical stimulation (FES) component for activating muscle contraction in the affected limb, and 3) a sensory stimulation module (i.e., tongue stimulation display) to provide sensory feedback and increase the general excitability of the afflicted sensory-motor system through latent intact neural pathways. It is proposed that this device would be used during post-stroke rehabilitation procedures (i.e., physical therapy sessions) and would reduce the duration of rehabilitation and increase the level of recovery. As an adjunct to the device, we will also develop fMRI imaging protocols for post-stroke patient screening and rehabilitation planning. Main collaborators include Mitchell Tyler, MS, Justin Sattin, MD, Dorothy Farrar Edwards, PhD.