Rehabilitation and Human Performance

Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Stroke Rehabilitation

A neurostimulation device that helps stroke survivors regain their independence and improve their quality of life.

After experiencing a stroke, nearly 60 percent of survivors continue to suffer from persistent impaired upper limb function and weakness. Mount Sinai offers a safe and effective breakthrough technology that improves upper limb function for stroke survivors who have not yet regained hand and arm mobility after active rehabilitation therapy, even years later. Within the Enhanced Stroke Recovery Program, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and physical therapists collaborate to offer vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) during physical therapy to improve upper limb function for stroke survivors. When used in combination with in-clinic physical therapy, the VNS stimulation generates two to three times more hand and arm function for stroke survivors than physical therapy alone after six weeks of in-clinic therapy. Even if a stroke happened years ago, patients may experience increased hand and arm function. Users report improvement across numerous quality of life measures, including:

  • Increased functional mobility
  • Improved self-care
  • Positive daily living