FDA Approves a Rehabilitation Option For Stroke That Uses The Vagus Nerve Stimulation

On the 27th day of August 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that it had permitted a new means of rehabilitation technology that aids in treating stroke patients with moderate to severe motor deficits.

Scientists created the Micro Transponder Vivistim Paired VNS System (Vivistim System) stroke rehabilitation system for rehabilitation exercises in patients with chronic ischemic stroke.

Risk factors for ischemic stroke

The study also highlights some of the principal risk factors for ischemic stroke because they enlarge the risk for blood clots. A publication done by health line observed that high blood pressure and clotting disorders are among the conditions that cause ischemic stroke.

The publication also warned that smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and family history could increase one’s chances of stroke. Moreover, it noted that men are at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke than women.

How the Vivistim System Functions

The Vagus nerve is the nerve that travels from the brain via the face to the abdomen.

According to McKnight’s Long-term care News, the Vivistim System functions by electrically stimulating the nerve and assisting the deficiency of movement of the subject’s arms and hands.

A preinstalled software in a microcomputer and a wireless transmitter that the medical staff uses to insert the appropriate settings escorts the modules of the Vivistim System.

The subject’s healthcare history and other relevant data are fed into the system beforehand to make it more effective.

The FDA assessed the improvement of motor function of the subjects from the beginning to six weeks of therapy. They realized that volunteers undergoing treatment experienced significant improvements that those in the control group.  Researchers also observed that 47.2% of patients in the treatment group showed improvements within 90 days of therapy compared to the 23.6% in the control group.

Dr. Christopher M. Lottus explained that patients who lost movement in the arms due to the ischemic stroke don’t have a lot of treatment options to regain mobility. Therefore, he included vagus nerve stimulation as a perfect option for stroke patients.

After being trained by a clinician to use the system and its features, the patients can use it as a prescription device used in clinics and at home.

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