Research Reports - Transcranial magnetic stimulation facilitates neurorehabilitation after pediatric traumatic brain injury

Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 6;5:14769. doi: 10.1038/srep14769.

Lu H(1,)(2,)(3), Kobilo T(1,)(2), Robertson C(4), Tong S(3), Celnik P(5), Pelled
G(1,)(2).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among
children in the United States. Affected children will often suffer from
emotional, cognitive and neurological impairments throughout life. In the
controlled cortical impact (CCI) animal model of pediatric TBI (postnatal day
16-17) it was demonstrated that injury results in abnormal neuronal hypoactivity
in the non-injured primary somatosensory cortex (S1). It materializes that
reshaping the abnormal post-injury neuronal activity may provide a suitable
strategy to augment rehabilitation. We tested whether high-frequency,
non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) delivered twice a week over
a four-week period can rescue the neuronal activity and improve the long-term
functional neurophysiological and behavioral outcome in the pediatric CCI model.
The results show that TBI rats subjected to TMS therapy showed significant
increases in the evoked-fMRI cortical responses (189%), evoked synaptic activity
(46%), evoked neuronal firing (200%) and increases expression of cellular markers
of neuroplasticity in the non-injured S1 compared to TBI rats that did not
receive therapy. Notably, these rats showed less hyperactivity in behavioral
tests. These results implicate TMS as a promising approach for reversing the
adverse neuronal mechanisms activated post-TBI. Importantly, this intervention
could readily be translated to human studies. 

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