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The HEMI-STIM project was given the San Juan de Dio award from the University Pontificia de Comillas

UCLM researchers assessed a pioneering therapy for treating hemiparesis in children

17/12/2020
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UCLM researchers assessed a pioneering therapy for treating hemiparesis in children

17/12/2020
In the next few months, researchers from the Faculty of Physiotherapy and Nursing at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) will evaluate a pioneering combined therapy for treating child hemiparesis within the framework of the HEMI-STIM project, which has recently received the Juan de Dios award from the University Pontificia de Comillas. The team will shortly begin recruiting children between four and eight years old who suffer from this pathology, who will receive treatment at the Toledo campus for three weeks.

The Toledo research group in Physiotherapy, made up of specialists in neuromodulation, neurorrehabilitation and pediatrics, Julio Gómez-Soriano, Rocío Palomo Carrión, Javier Merino Andrés, Purificación López Muñoz, Elisabeth Bravo Esteban and Diego Serrano Muñoz, developed the HEMI-STIM project in order to evaluate the efficiency of the combined approach of transcranial direct current stimulation and intensive therapies for hand-eye coordination for children with hemiparesis. 

As explained by the researchers, transcranial direct current stimulation “is an innovative technique which consists in giving a very low level of electrical stimulation to specific areas of the brain by non-invasive electrodes which are placed on the scalp".  Stimulation is well tolerated by patients and can alter neuron excitability. "Also, different studies have endorsed both its safety and its effectiveness in pathologies such as depression, chronic pain and many neurological illnesses".

Also, intensive therapy " is a new approach which consists in intensive training, based on routines and a habitual environment which aim to increase use and coordination in a limb paralised after a neurological injury. In recent years, this type of therapy has proved to be highly effective in treating children with hemiparesis. 

The HEMI-STIM project will begin in the next few months by recruiting children between four and eight years old. The children chosen will undergo intensive therapy for an average of two hours per day for three weeks at the Toledo Faculty of Physiotherapy and Nursing, which previously has shown improvements in hand-eye coordination and quality of life in children. For half the children, 20 minutes of transcranial direct current stimulation will be given in order to assess the effect this technique has on the use of the affected limb, coordination and the quality of life of children with hemiparesis. 

"Developing this project will be a landmark in the field of transcranial neuromodulation in neuropediatrics, since to date, very little research has been done which combines these two approaches, and they pose great therapeutic potential for improving the quality of life of children with hemiparesis" the researchers indicated.

UCLM Communication Office Toledo, 26th of November 2020.

 

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