The Development and Clinical Application of a Miniature Transcranial Direct Current Stimulator in Rehabilitation Therapy

Project: A - Government Institutionb - Ministry of Science and Technology

Description

In recent years, stroke has been ranked as number three among the top 10 causes of mortality in Taiwan. Most of stroke patients are left with physical impairments deeply affecting the activities of daily living. Weakness and spasticity interfere with proper functional movement and lead to impaired balance, poor posture control and bilaterally asymmetric limb movement. It is estimated that there are one hundred and twenty dozen stroke population in Taiwan. These stroke patients could deplete large amounts of social resource, and they also caused a heavy burden for their families. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is contemporarily important issues in the advanced rehabilitation medicine. tDCS can selectively change the excitability of regional cortex with non-invansive and safety properties. Some studies reported the motor re-learning effect of upper extremities in stroke patients by applying tDCS. However, the study regarding the optimal tDCS model for the rehabilitation of lower extremities is still rare. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop a set of tDCS system for using in clinical rehabilitation of lower extremities. We hope the tDCS combined with the rehabilitation of lower extremities can shorten the duration of rehabilitative periods, improve patients’ activity of daily living, reduce the care burden of patients’ family, and subsequently decrease the cost of health care insurance. In this three-year project, the developed tDCS will be smaller than all commercial available products, which could be conveniently and portably wore on head for clinical rehabilitation. In first year, we will manufacture a set of tDCS system, and apply intellect patent for the system. In the second year, the developed device will be test in animal experiment for examinations of the biological safety and electrical damage, as well as the electrical performance of the device will be verified in an authorized institute. In addition, the optimal parameter of tDCS will be established in animal experiments. In the final year, on the basis of the results from animal experiments, we will run clinic trials with our developed t-DCS device in Taipei Medical University Hospital. Although only a small scale of clinic trial runs in the three-year project, our ultimate goal is to get the FDA, CE, and TFDA permission for the usage of t-DCS in clinical rehabilitation. Therefore, after the three-year project, we will continue to organize a large scale of clinical trials to meet the standard of FDA , CE, and TFDA approval. Hope this t-DCS device would be commercially available in medical market, and extensively used in stroke patient to improve brain neural plasticity. In this way, it can improve the rehabilitation effect, reduce the duration of rehabilitation, and decrease medical cost in stroke patients.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date11/1/1310/31/14

Keywords

  • stroke
  • non-invansive
  • rehabilitation
  • transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
  • lower extremities
  • neural plasticity