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Rancho Los Amigos Launches New Clinical Trial for Functional Restoration in Stroke Patients

(Downey) – Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center has just launched a new clinical trial to evaluate a transformative approach to upper limb functional restoration in stroke patients.  This new approach seeks to augment traditional neurorehabilitation by adding neuromodulation to help the brain “rewire” more effectively.  Stroke continues to represent a major cause of permanent neurological disability in patients worldwide.  The trial currently seeks to enroll patients who have suffered a stroke at least 9 months ago but within the last 10 years.  The neuromodulation is delivered to vagus nerve using a novel implanted device (the Vivistim® system) made by Microtransponder, Inc., the sponsor of the multi-institutional clinical trial.

The Rancho team is led by principal investigator Dr. Charles Y. Liu, Chief of Neurosurgery at Rancho Los Amigos and Director of the USC Neurorestoration Center of USC Keck School of Medicine.  Rancho has begun enrollment and today has surgically implanted the first American patient in the new clinical trial.  In total, 15 centers are involved in this effort, with 12 in the United States and 3 in the United Kingdom.  After receiving the Vivistim® device, the participants will receive intensive physiotherapy each week for six weeks either with or without vagus nerve stimulation to help improve arm and hand function.  The trial is designed to evaluate the synergistic effects of the neuromodulation and physiotherapy.  This new clinical trial follows two smaller trials conducted previously, the first in the USA, and the second in the USA and UK.

Patients can find more information about the study at the official website: http://vnsstroketrial.com/.  Furthermore, those interested in participating in the trial can contact Nicole Bayus of Rancho Research Institute at 562-385-7049.

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

 Rancho Los Amigos is a premiere facility in the country, providing care to approximately 4,000 inpatients and 71,000 outpatients annually, making it one of the largest rehabilitation centers in the nation. As the only rehabilitation hospital in Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services, Rancho plays a unique and vital role in patient recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. The hospital specializes in brain, neurology, orthopedic, pediatric, spine injury, and stroke rehabilitation.

 Recognized as an innovator and premier provider of rehabilitation and acute medical and surgical services for more than 125 years, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center sets the standard for rehabilitation care. For additional information please visit our website at www.rancho.org