DOWNEY – Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center has launched a new clinical trial to evaluate a transformative approach to upper limb functional restoration in stroke patients.
This new approach seeks to augment traditional neurorehabilitation by adding neuromodulation to help the brain “rewire” more effectively.
The trial currently seeks to enroll patients who have suffered a stroke at least 9 months ago but within the last 10 years.
The neuromodulation is delivered to vagus nerve using a novel implanted device (the Vivistim system) made by Microtransponder, Inc., the sponsor of the multi-institutional clinical trial.
The Rancho team is led by principal investigator Dr. Charles Y. Liu, Chief of Neurosurgery at Rancho Los Amigos and director of the USC Neurorestoration Center of USC Keck School of Medicine. Rancho has begun enrollment and this week surgically implanted the first American patient in the new clinical trial.
In total, 15 centers are involved in this effort, with 12 in the United States and three in the United Kingdom.
After receiving the Vivistim device, participants will receive intensive physiotherapy each week for six weeks either with or without vagus nerve stimulation to help improve arm and hand function. The trial is designed to evaluate the synergistic effects of the neuromodulation and physiotherapy.
This new clinical trial follows two smaller trials conducted previously, the first in the USA, and the second in the USA and UK.
Patients can find more information about the study at vnsstroketrial.com. Those interested in participating in the trial can contact Nicole Bayus of Rancho Research Institute at (562) 385-7049.