Swedish start-up Brain Stimulation has developed a treatment method that both diagnoses and rehabilitates stroke patients who suffer from one-side neglect.
The product, RehAtt, provides brain stimulation in a fun 3D game. The game combines neuroscience, virtual reality (VR) and robotics to help more patients return to a more normal daily life.
Stroke (caused by a blocked artery or bleeding in the brain) is the most common cause of long-term handicaps in adults. A total of about 16.5 million people suffer a stroke every year throughout the world. About one third of all stroke patients suffer one-side neglect, which is a serious handicap in which the patient cannot see, feel, notice or even understand what is happening on the neglected side in his or her surroundings. Today there is no effective method to diagnose or rehabilitate patients with one-side neglect, which means that these patients seldom receive the training and help that they need.
“Today we know that the brain is ”plastic” or adaptable and has a fantastic ability to repair itself or circumvent the damage and regain its function – if it is trained intensively. This even applies several years after the damage occurred. We know that the repair process is made easier if the training is stimulating and fun. That is where VR and gamification come in,” says Helena Fordell, the founder of Brain Stimulation and a neurologist at Umeå University Hospital.
Brain Stimulation has developed the diagnostic- and rehabilitation method, RehAtt, which is a stimulating, intensive training method to teach the patient to look around his/her environment. The game design is based on neuroscience. By using robotics and a well planned game design, one observes improved attention already after 15 hours of training. The game combines a number of methods to stimulate the brain to create new synapses or contacts which repair or circumvent the functions which were damaged by the stroke. RehAtt™ is now being used and tested by eight leading stroke-rehabilitation clinics in Europe and in the USA.
“Brain Stimulation offers a rapid, simple and reliable method to screen all stroke patients for neglect. The separate, individualized training program is now used in the clinic and will soon become available for use in the home. With this training program the rehabilitation clinics and the care providers can save both time and resources. The positive response which RehAtt has received at leading stroke centers throughout the world strengthens our impression that the market needs Brain Stimulation’s products,” says Lena Fridlund Forsgren, investment manager at Almi Invest.
The method, RehAtt, has been carefully analyzed in a research study at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University. Brain Stimulation AB is included in the incubator programs at Uminova Innovation and Umeå Biotech Incubators and supported by Biotech Umeå.
Source: Biotech Umeå