If you’re searching for the latest stroke treatment to try, Etanercept might come across your search results…
But we have mixed feelings about it.
Etanercept is a drug often used for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
However, Dr. Edward Tobinick has been using etanercept injections on stroke and traumatic brain injury patients – and the results look a little biased.
In this article, we’ll discuss why we’re skeptical of etanercept, and then we’ll offer a much more reliable treatment option.
How Does Etanercept Work?
In the study on etanercept for stroke recovery, where 629 patients were given the treatment, more than 80% of participants saw a reduction in spasticity and more than 85% saw improved movement in their bodies.
Stroke and TBI patients who received the etanercept injection reported walking more steadily, reading more easily, and speaking more clearly after the treatment. One patient reported feeling totally clear-headed within just 5 minutes of the injection.
While these are incredible results, it’s worth noting that the limited clinical studies on Etanercept for stroke were conducted by the same person who is profiting from this patented procedure (and he’s charging thousands per injection).
This means that the results might be biased and you should take this news with a serious grain of salt.
What You Should Know About Etanercept
Etanercept is FDA-approved for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. It is not approved for stroke recovery. Therefore, treatment is not covered by insurance.
To give you an idea of how much the treatment costs, one patient paid $4,800 out of pocket for the injection and follow-up visits.
Because etanercept is not conventionally used for stroke recovery, intensive clinical trials need to take place before it’s available on the market and considered for coverage by insurance.
The Problem with Etanercept
Etanercept came across as a red flag to us because it doesn’t capitalize on neuroplasticity to produce results.
As you know (if you’re a longtime reader of this blog), the best way to recover from stroke is to rewire the brain through neuroplasticity, the process that your brain uses to rewire itself and heal from injury.
Neuroplasticity is activated by repetitive practice. By practicing something over and over, your brain forms new connections to get better at the task.
Etanercept produces results without any repetitive practice, which makes us suspicious that the results aren’t long-lasting.
Plus, none of the studies on etanercept (which were all conducted with the same person who is profiting from the treatment) follow up with patients long-term to see if they keep their gains long-term.
So, etanercept might just be a really expensive way to get short-term improvements. We won’t know until further clinical studies are conducted (without the profiting party’s involvement).
A Reliable Way to Treat Stroke
The most reliable way to treat your stroke side effects is with repetitive practice.
Repetition activates neuroplasticity and helps you rebuild the skills you lost after stroke. It requires hard work and discipline, and that’s why it produces long-lasting results.
Repetitive practice isn’t a shortcut, which is why it always works. Always.
For example, practicing leg exercises every single day will help you strengthen the connections in your brain that control leg movement. With enough practice, you can rewire your brain and relearn how to walk again.
Repetitive practice isn’t as attractive as etanercept because it requires a lot more hard work. But compared to the high price tag and ill-studied nature of etanercept, hard work isn’t such a bad alternative.
The Latest Stroke Treatment
Overall, etanercept is an exciting new breakthrough in stroke treatment, but we’re skeptical. The studies are likely biased because they’re conducted by the same person who carries the patent and is charging thousands of dollars per treatment.
A much more affordable and reliable way to recover from stroke includes massed practice. With hard work and perseverance, repetition can help you rebuild your skills after stroke and have it last long-term.