BrainsGate is developing a treatment for acute ischemic stroke based on its proprietary SPG stimulation technology. It is known that electrical stimulation of the SPG induces cerebral vasodilatation and augments cerebral perfusion.
BrainsGate has shown using animal models that this can help improve stroke outcome even when initiated within the first 24 hours following stroke onset. The increase in blood flow to the brain is expected to increase collateral blood flow, bypassing the blocked section of the cerebral artery and bringing needed oxygen to damaged areas of the brain.
Moreover, the vasodilation observed following SPG stimulation is known to be mediated via the release of Nitric Oxide (NO) as well as other neurotransmiters from nerve fibers. NO is known to reduce infarct size after focal cerebral ischemia and to promote neurogenesis in the adult brain, suggesting potential therapeutic benefits of NO both for neuroprotection during early stages and for neural regeneration and rehabilitation during late stages.