Heart Institute scientist behind recommendations for use of non-invasive brain stimulation in stroke rehabilitation

October 12, 2023

Dr. Jodi Edwards, a scientist and director of the Brain and Heart Nexus Research Program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), and an affiliate investigator at Bruyère Research Institute, is the principal author of five innovative recommendations and a checklist to improve preclinical and clinical stroke research using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (NIBS).

The research, published today in a special edition of the International Journal of Stroke, is the result of a year-long, five-stage consensus process involving 18 international multidisciplinary experts from eight countries. This Third Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtable (SRRR3), an initiative of the International Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Alliance (ISRRA), has made a series of key recommendations about managing fatigue, measuring mobility, harnessing NIBS technologies and improving how clinical trials are designed. The NIBS group was co-chaired by Dr. Edwards and Dr. Numa Dancause of the Université de Montréal. Both Drs. Edwards and Dancause are principal investigators of the Canadian Platform for Research in Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation.

In their research, titled “A Translational Roadmap for Transcranial Magnetic and Direct Current Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation: Consensus Based Core Recommendations from the Third Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtable,” the authors address barriers to translating preclinical and clinical research into clinical practice using transcranial magnetic (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), two of the most common non-invasive brain stimulation methods with established safety profiles.

NIBS technologies, and specifically repetitive TMS and tDCS, have a long history of experimental and clinical evidence supporting they are safe and can induce rapid and reproducible effects on the brain. Importantly, these techniques show promising potential therapeutic benefits for the improvement of multiple post-stroke deficits.

“However, several major translational barriers have limited their advancement as a clinical tool for stroke recovery,” said Dr. Edwards. “The consensus recommendations and SRRR3 Unified NIBS Checklist developed by this roundtable are designed to address these outstanding barriers and provide a roadmap for the integration of TMS and tDCS technologies into clinical practice for stroke rehabilitation.”

The recommendations were launched at a special symposium at the 15th World Stroke Congress in Toronto on Oct 12.

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Media contact

Leigh B. Morris
Communications Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute