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Stroke Research

Ohio State’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is actively involved in several clinical trials searching for new and innovative therapies for stroke prevention and management. We are also a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials Network, a group of 21 leading medical centers cooperating on research that will improve the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury, seizures and stroke.

Current Stroke Research Includes—

If you experience a stroke and still have trouble using your arm or hand, you may be eligible to participate in one of these studies, contact Dr. Lynne Gauthier, (Lynne.gauthier@osumc.edu) 614-293-6287 to learn more.

  • MRI Technology Explores Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CI therapy)
    Researchers are using MRI technology to better understand how the brain changes during constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) [link to pdf CI Therapy]. CI Therapy produces substantial arm recovery function post-stroke, believed to be partially due to the therapy’s ability to aid the brain in “rewiring itself.”

    You may quality for this study if you are 18 years or older, have experienced a stroke at least six months ago and still have trouble using your arm or hand.

    Participation involves 35 hours of therapy with the weaker arm (10 visits), up to 15 hours of testing, and four to five MRI scans over a four to six week period at no cost to you. Participants will receive $20 per testing visit (up to five visits).

  • Video Game Used for Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CI Therapy) produces substantial arm recovery function post stroke, but is unavailable to most patients due to cost, travel/schedule demands and availability of trained providers. This new low-cost virtual rehabilitation game for stroke is being developed by Ohio State researchers to serve as a home-based, computer gaming version of CI therapy that will provide equal access to high-quality rehabilitation. Watch a demonstration of the game.

    You may quality for this study if you are 18 years or older, have experienced a stroke and still have trouble using your arm or hand.

    Participation involves up to 60 hours of in-home gameplay and motor testing. Enrolled participants will receive $20 per study visit (up to 7 ) & free access to the game.​

For over a decade, the Better Rehabilitation and Assessment for Improved Neuro-recovery (BRAIN) Laboratory has conducted free research studies to determine the best therapies to restore movement and language after stroke. The Lab also provides educational opportunities to consumers, rehabilitation clinicians, and rehabilitation scientists across North America.

You may qualify for one of the free studies being conducted at the BRAIN Lab or one of its affiliates. You can also contact the lab via email at strokeresearch@osumc.edu​ or contact the lab directly at 614-685-1964. Some of our ongoing studies include:

  • Mental Practice for Arm Impairment After Stroke: Stroke causes motor impairments that compromise performance of valued activities of daily living. The purpose of this research study is to compare the effects of an investigational therapy for arm function, called mental practice. Mental practice, sometimes called “motor imagery,” is a non-invasive, inexpensive repetitive task-specific practice technique in which physical skills and/or scenarios are cognitively rehearsed. Participants in this study will undergo two baseline sessions and one MRI. Then, participants are randomized into one of two groups: one group who receives therapy with relaxation and one group who received therapy with mental imagery. Participants will receive therapy three times a week for ten weeks. The same baseline tests are repeated after treatment and three months after treatment.

  • Portable upper extremity robotics for the stroke affected arm: The BRAIN lab is continuing to conduct research using portable upper extremity robotics, called the Myomo NeuroRobotic system, to reduce arm impairment after stroke. This research is designed to examine the efficacy of a repetitive task-specific practice (RTP) therapy regime as compared to RTP while wearing the Myomo device. The Myomo is an electromyography-controlled brace, which responds to muscle “firing” by assisting the stroke affected arm in flexion and extension. The therapist can adjust settings on the device to give the user more or less assistance in arm movement. Therapy sessions are 45 minutes, three days per week, lasting a total of eight weeks. Participants are randomly assigned to one of three groups: RTP only, RTP plus Myomo device or Myomo only.

Stroke Research Advisory Group:

The mission of the Stroke Research Advisory Group is to create a collaborative dialogue between community members and researchers to move stroke research forward at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. This group was constructed to 1) ensure that we are researching problems that are important to the stroke community, 2) involve members of the stroke community in planning and providing feedback on our research programs, 3)
ensure that the stroke community has immediate access to our newest research findings by sharing them directly with the community, and 4) aid in translating our research findings into clinical practice.

The Stroke Research Advisory Group is currently in its formative stages. For more information about how you can be involved, please contact: Dr. Lynne Gauthier, Lynne.gauthier@osumc.edu, 614-293-6287

Ohio State's Stroke Center offers the highest level of stroke care in central Ohio. Ohio State is also recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery. Call 614-293-6930.