In this medical video learn about a new technique may change the way doctors treat stroke patients.
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Jennifer Matthews: Since childhood Bob Massarino has cherished his train collection. But this simple boyhood pleasure was derailed when, at age 47, Bob had a stroke. These were his last words... Bob Massarino: Hey, hey how ya doing and then fell, gone gone. Jennifer Matthews: He didn't speak again for 10 years. The stroke affected the left side of Bob's brain, robbing him of the use of his right arm, leg and speech. But an experimental technology called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation gave him hope. Dr. Felipe Fregni: When a person has a stroke, he loses a part of his brain, and this will cause a decrease in the brain's activity. Jennifer Matthews: That decreased activity signals the healthy side of the brain to go into overdrive. Researchers now believe that actually hinders the stroke side from healing. Once the computer registers Bob's facial features, this coil sends an electrical current to the healthy side of the brain, balancing out both hemispheres. The treatments are relatively pain-free, but Doctor Fregni from Harvard Medical School says some patients have reported mild headaches. Bob has been through 10 sessions in the past two years and has noticed improvement. Bob says magnetic stimulation now allows him to count out loud. A simple task he simply couldn't do before. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.