Encouraging Regeneration after Stroke
Regeneration holds enormous promise in the treatment of stroke, the third leading cause of death in Canada. The uOBMRI has a large team of researchers working on the brain’s post-stroke regenerative powers. This program is unique in the world – it will marry basic science with clinical care to find new ways to promote recovery and regeneration in the hours and days after a patient suffers a stroke.
Stroke research under the uOBMRI umbrella is multi-faceted and examines the following areas:
- Understanding the mechanisms of injury
- Post-stroke depression
- Synaptic function
- Stroke recovery
uOBMRI is also undertaking a number of stroke-related initiatives, including:
Improve Stroke Recovery using electronic applications, monitored by healthcare professionals, to deliver rehabilitative therapy to patients immediately following an acute Stroke. This is a critical time point in the recovery process that is often missed due to rehabilitation program overload and long wait time.
Our Collaborative Partnership Team has successfully:
- Completed a Phase I feasibility study with 30 acute stroke patients! The purpose of this study was to test how practical and user-friendly this type of rehabilitation delivery technique would be with individuals who have recently experienced an acute stroke and are recovering from communication deficits. The results came out very positive!
- Starting to develop platforms that target cognitive and fine motor deficits in order to increase the rehabilitation capacity and set the stage for a Phase II randomized clinical trial to test whether patient health outcomes are in fact improved.
These studies will bring rehabilitation and treatment of depression to the in-patient setting during the critical time following a stroke when brain self-repair and reorganization can be optimally impacted by therapeutic interventions. This initiative has the potential to markedly improve the quality of life for people affected by stroke.
Fundamental studies in brain repair in stroke
Over the past 10 years, we have seen a number of major advances in our understanding of the cellular and molecular changes that contribute to recovery from stroke. The uOBMRI plans to incorporate clinical and fundamental research results into early intervention strategies for a more comprehensive stroke recovery program.
We will address important questions such as how neural circuitry and synaptic function are altered in stroke and how protective and repair strategies affect the dynamic nature of the injuries caused by stroke.