Chronic Post-Stroke State

Chronic Post-Stroke State

Click on the publications below to view and close the abstracts

Hyperbaric Oxygen Induces Late Neuroplasticity in Post Stroke Patient – Randomized, Prospective Trial
Efrati S, et al
Plos One January 2013; Vol 8; Issue 1; 1-10

BACKGROUND: Recovery after stroke correlates with non-active (stunned) brain regions, which may persist for years. The current study aimed to evaluate whether increasing the level of dissolved oxygen by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) could activate neuroplasticity in patients with chronic neurologic deficiencies due to stroke.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial including 74 patients (15 were excluded). All participants suffered a stroke 6-36 months prior to inclusion and had at least one motor dysfunction. After inclusion, patients were randomly assigned to “treated” or “cross” groups. Brain activity was assessed by SPECT imaging; neurologic functions were evaluated by NIHSS, ADL, and life quality. Patients in the treated group were evaluated twice: at baseline and after 40 HBOT sessions. Patients in the cross group were evaluated three times: at baseline, after a 2-month control period of no treatment, and after subsequent 2-months of 40 HBOT sessions. HBOT protocol: Two months of 40 sessions (5 days/week), 90 minutes each, 100% oxygen at 2 ATA. We found that the neurological functions and life quality of all patients in both groups were significantly improved following the HBOT sessions while no improvement was found during the control period of the patients in the cross group. Results of SPECT imaging were well correlated with clinical improvement. Elevated brain activity was detected mostly in regions of live cells (as confirmed by CT) with low activity (based on SPECT) – regions of noticeable discrepancy between anatomy and physiology.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that HBOT can lead to significant neurological improvements in post stroke patients even at chronic late stages. The observed clinical improvements imply that neuroplasticity can still be activated long after damage onset in regions where there is a brain SPECT/CT (anatomy/physiology) mismatch.

Integrated Brain Restoration after Ischemic Stroke – Medical Management, Risk Factors, Nutrients, and other Interventions for Managing Inflammation and Enhancing Brain Plasticity
Kidd PM
Alternative Medicine Review Volume 14, Number 1 2009

Brain injury from ischemic stroke can be devastating, but full brain restoration is feasible.

Time until treatment is critical; rapid rate of injury progression, logistical and personnel constraints on neurological and cardiovascular assessment, limitations of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) for thrombolysis, anticoagulation and antiplatelet interventions, and neuroprotection all affect outcome. Promising acute neuroprotectant measures include albumin, magnesium, and hypothermia.

Long-term hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is safe and holds great promise. Eicosanoid and cytokine down-regulation by omega-3 nutrients docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may help quench stroke inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker and stroke-recurrence predictor, responds favorably to krill oil (a phospholipid-DHA/EPA-astaxanthin complex). High homocysteine (Hcy) is a proven predictor of stroke recurrence and responds to folic acid and vitamin B12. Vitamin E may lower recurrence for individuals experiencing high oxidative stress. Citicoline shows promise for acute neuroprotection. Glycerophosphocholine (GPC) is neuroprotective and supports neuroplasticity via nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors.

Stem cells have shown promise for neuronal restoration in randomized trials. Endogenous brain stem cells can migrate to an ischemic injury zone; exogenous stem cells once transplanted can migrate (home) to the stroke lesion and provide trophic support for cortical neuroplasticity. The hematopoietic growth factors erythropoietin (EPO) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) have shown promise in preliminary trials, with manageable adverse effects.

Physical and mental exercises, including constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and interactive learning aids, further support brain restoration following ischemic stroke. Brain plasticity underpins the function-driven brain restoration that can occur following stroke.

Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of patients with cerebral stroke, brain trauma, and neurologic disease
Al-Waili NS, Butler GJ, Beale J, Abdullah MS, Hamilton RW, Lee BY, Lucus P, Allen MW, Petrillo RL, Carrey Z, Finkelstein M.
Adv. Ther. 2005 Nov-Dec; 22(6):659-78.

Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy has been used to treat patients with numerous disorders, including stroke. This treatment has been shown to decrease cerebral edema, normalize water content in the brain, decrease the severity of brain infarction, and maintain blood-brain barrier integrity.

In addition, HBO therapy attenuates motor deficits, decreases the risks of sequelae, and prevents recurrent cerebral circulatory disorders, thereby leading to improved outcomes and survival. Hyperbaric oxygen also accelerates the regression of atherosclerotic lesions, promotes antioxidant defenses, and suppresses the proliferation of macrophages and foam cells in atherosclerotic lesions.

Although no medical treatment is available for patients with cerebral palsy, in some studies, HBO therapy has improved the function of damaged cells, attenuated the effects of hypoxia on the neonatal brain, enhanced gross motor function and fine motor control, and alleviated spasticity.

In the treatment of patients with migraine, HBO therapy has been shown to reduce intracranial pressure significantly and abort acute attacks of migraine, reduce migraine headache pain, and prevent cluster headache. In studies that investigated the effects of HBO therapy on the damaged brain, the treatment was found to inhibit neuronal death, arrest the progression of radiation-induced neurologic necrosis, improve blood flow in regions affected by chronic neurologic disease as well as aerobic metabolism in brain injury, and accelerate the resolution of clinical symptoms.

Hyperbaric oxygen has also been reported to accelerate neurologic recovery after spinal cord injury by ameliorating mitochondrial dysfunction in the motor cortex and spinal cord, arresting the spread of hemorrhage, reversing hypoxia, and reducing edema. HBO has enhanced wound healing in patients with chronic osteomyelitis.

The results of HBO therapy in the treatment of patients with stroke, atherosclerosis, cerebral palsy, intracranial pressure, headache, and brain and spinal cord injury are promising and warrant further investigation.

Reversal of Residual Stroke Symptoms Using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Morton Walker, D.P.M.
Alternative & Complementary Therapies – January/February 1996

This PDF article is readily available with an internet search.

Hyperbaric Oxygenation as an Adjunct Therapy in Stroke Due to Thrombosis – A Review of 122 Patients
Richard A. Neubauer, M.D. and Edgar End, M.D.
Stroke 11(3): 297-300, 1980.

Results are reported using hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) in 122 patients with strokes due to thrombosis, both acute and completed. HBO is used as adjunctive treatment and three appears to be justification for a controlled study to delineate the treatment further. The authors believe it is essential to treat patients with stroke at 1.5 to 2 atmospheres absolute (ATA).

Reversibility of the chronic post-stroke state
Holbach KH, Wassmann HW and Hoheluchter KL
Stroke 1976;7;296-300

Forty patients with cerebral infarction associated with occlusion of the internal carotid artery (ICA) or the middle cerebral artery (MCA) were treated with hyperbaric oxygenation (HO). EEG analyses were performed regularly in order to assess the course of the cerebral lesion. Patients in an early post-stroke stage (III B) and patients in a chronic post-stroke stage (IV) had the changes in EEG analysis and neurological distributed evenly between these two groups.