In this health video learn how almost 50 percent of stroke survivors are left with lasting paralysis. Now, a new therapy is restoring movement.
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Jennifer Mathews: Ten years ago, Judy Walsh had a stroke in her 50s. Judy Walsh: I just couldn't believe it. Here I am, 54. I never thought I would have this problem. Jennifer Mathews: She was left partially paralyzed. Judy Walsh: My left side of my leg, my left arm, my speech, my swallowing. Jennifer Mathews: Dr. Robert Levy says, 50% of stroke survivors will have lasting paralysis. Dr. Robert Levy: It takes away their independence and it takes away their ability to control their lives. Jennifer Mathews: Now he's studying brain stimulation that will re-grow neural pathways to reverse that paralysis. Dr. Robert Levy: Until now, there has been no really effective way to re-grow pathways within the brain. Jennifer Mathews: Surgeons place electrodes internally over the injured brain area. They're powered by a battery implanted in the chest. The brain is stimulated only during intense physical rehab that involves the paralyzed arm. This can shows activated areas as a patient tries unsuccessfully to move her paralyzed arm. After treatment the energy has been refocused to the right area, her arm moves. Dr. Robert Levy: This is one of the single biggest advances in stroke therapy that I've witnessed in my entire career. Jennifer Mathews: Judy had the treatment seven years after her stroke. Judy Walsh: Now this something I would never be able to do before. Jennifer Mathews: Whether it's opening a jar, making a sandwich, or spending time with her grandchildren, she is thankful to have her movement back. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.