Scientific article
Case report

Novel personalized treatment strategy for patients with chronic stroke with severe upper-extremity impairment : The first patient of the AVANCER trial

Published inMed, vol. 4, no. 9, p. 591-599.e3
Publication date2023-09-08
First online date2023-07-11

Background: Around 25% of patients who have had a stroke suffer from severe upper-limb impairment and lack effective rehabilitation strategies. The AVANCER proof-of-concept clinical trial (NCT04448483) tackles this issue through an intensive and personalized-dosage cumulative intervention that combines multiple non-invasive neurotechnologies.

Methods: The therapy consists of two sequential interventions, lasting until the patient shows no further motor improvement, for a minimum of 11 sessions each. The first phase involves a brain-computer interface governing an exoskeleton and multi-channel functional electrical stimulation enabling full upper-limb movements. The second phase adds anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the motor cortex of the lesioned hemisphere. Clinical, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging examinations are performed before, between, and after the two interventions (T0, T1, and T2). This case report presents the results from the first patient of the study.

Findings: The primary outcome (i.e., 4-point improvement in the Fugl-Meyer assessment of the upper extremity) was met in the first patient, with an increase from 6 to 11 points between T0 and T2. This improvement was paralleled by changes in motor-network structure and function. Resting-state and transcranial magnetic stimulation-evoked electroencephalography revealed brain functional changes, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures detected structural and task-related functional changes.

Conclusions: These first results are promising, pointing to feasibility, safety, and potential efficacy of this personalized approach acting synergistically on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Integrating multi-modal data may provide valuable insights into underlying mechanisms driving the improvements and providing predictive information regarding treatment response and outcomes.

  • Translation to patients
  • Brain stimulation
  • Brain-computer interface
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Personalized therapy
  • Stroke
  • Humans
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation / methods
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods
  • Precision Medicine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Upper Extremity
Citation (ISO format)
BIGONI, Claudia et al. Novel personalized treatment strategy for patients with chronic stroke with severe upper-extremity impairment : The first patient of the AVANCER trial. In: Med, 2023, vol. 4, n° 9, p. 591–599.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.medj.2023.06.006
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Article (Published version)
Secondary files (1)
ISSN of the journal2666-6340

Technical informations

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