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Magnetic Therapy Research: For Stroke Recovery



Magnet therapy in rehabilitation of patients with cerabral ischemia.

Provotorov VM, Putilina MV.

Basing on the results of clinical examination and treatment of 420 patients with aftereffects of acute circulatory disturbance, the authors propose a pathogenetically grounded approach to correction of the residual phenomena following stroke. The method proposed includes three courses of impulse electromagnetotherapy used in combination with either standard chemotherapy or massage and therapeutic exercise.

Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 2001 Mar-Apr;(2):23-6.

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Treatment-induced cortical reorganization after stroke in humans.

Liepert J, Bauder H, Wolfgang HR, Miltner WH, Taub E, Weiller C.

Department of Neurology, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Injury-induced cortical reorganization is a widely recognized phenomenon. In contrast, there is almost no information on treatment-induced plastic changes in the human brain. The aim of the present study was to evaluate reorganization in the motor cortex of stroke patients that was induced with an efficacious rehabilitation treatment.

METHODS: We used focal transcranial magnetic stimulation to map the cortical motor output area of a hand muscle on both sides in 13 stroke patients in the chronic stage of their illness before and after a 12-day-period of constraint-induced movement therapy.

RESULTS: Before treatment, the cortical representation area of the affected hand muscle was significantly smaller than the contralateral side. After treatment, the muscle output area size in the affected hemisphere was significantly enlarged, corresponding to a greatly improved motor performance of the paretic limb. Shifts of the center of the output map in the affected hemisphere suggested the recruitment of adjacent brain areas. In follow-up examinations up to 6 months after treatment, motor performance remained at a high level, whereas the cortical area sizes in the 2 hemispheres became almost identical, representing a return of the balance of excitability between the 2 hemispheres toward a normal condition.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first demonstration in humans of a long-term alteration in brain function associated with a therapy-induced improvement in the rehabilitation of movement after neurological injury.

Stroke. 2000 Jun;31(6):1210-6.

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Motor hand recovery after stroke. Prognostic yield of early transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Cruz Martinez A, Tejada J, Diez Tejedor E.

Unidad de Electromiografia, Hospital La Luz, Madrid, Spain.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was performed in 20 patients within the first days after stroke. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were bilaterally recorded over thenar eminence muscles, and central motor conduction time (CMCT), amplitude of the MEPs (A%M) and threshold intensity compared between both sides. Six months later the patients were reexamined. Within the first days after stroke the obtention of MEPs at rest or during voluntary muscle activation have a favorable prognostic value. All patients with early response by TMS reached a good motor function in the following months. The follow-up showed that the electrophysiological improvement was closely related to clinical recovery of the hand function. However, even in cases with a good recovery, the CMCT and, mainly, the A%M, may be significantly different related to those in normal hand. TMS may be an early and valuable prognostic indicator of hand function recovery after stroke, and their prognostic yield is higher than clinical evaluation and CT study. TMS is a quantifiable method of motor disability and may have practical application in the management and rehabilitation therapy in stroke patients.

Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1999 Oct-Dec;39(7):405-10.

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Protection against focal cerebral ischemia following exposure to a pulsed electromagnetic field.

Grant G, Cadossi R, Steinberg G.

Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, California 94305.

There is evidence that electromagnetic stimulation may accelerate the healing of tissue damage following ischemia. We undertook this study to investigate the effects of low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) exposure on cerebral injury in a rabbit model of transient focal ischemia (2 h occlusion followed by 4 h of reperfusion). PEMF exposure (280 V, 75 Hz, IGEA Stimulator) was initiated 10 min after the onset of ischemia and continued throughout reperfusion (six exposed, six controls). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology were used to measure the degree of ischemic injury. Exposure to pulsed electromagnetic field attenuated cortical ischemia edema on MRI at the most anterior coronal level by 65% (P < 0.001). On histologic examination, PEMF exposure reduced ischemic neuronal damage in this same cortical area by 69% (P < 0.01) and by 43% (P < 0.05) in the striatum. Preliminary data suggest that exposure to a PEMF of short duration may have implications for the treatment of acute stroke.

Bioelectromagnetics. 1994;15(3):205-16.

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Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) on infarct size and inflammation after cerebral ischemia in mice.

Pena-Philippides JC1, Yang Y, Bragina O, Hagberg S, Nemoto E, Roitbak T.

Transl Stroke Res. 2014 Aug;5(4):491-500.

Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) have been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative effects in animals and humans. We used the FDA-approved Sofpulse (Ivivi Health Sciences, LLC) to study effect of PEMF on infarct size and poststroke inflammation following distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO) in mice. Electromagnetic field was applied within 30-45 min after ischemic brain damage and utilized twice a day for 21 consecutive days. Ischemic infarct size was assessed using MRI and histological analysis.  At 21 days after dMCAO, the infarct size was significantly (by 26%) smaller in PEMF-treated animals as compared to controls. Neuroinflammation in these animals was evaluated using specialized cytokine/chemokine PCR array. We demonstrate that PEMF significantly influenced expression profile of pro- and anti-inflammatory factors in the hemisphere ipsilateral to ischemic damage. Importantly, expression of gene encoding major pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1α was significantly reduced, while expression of major anti-inflammatory IL-10 was significantly increased. PEMF application significantly downregulated genes encoding members of the major pro-apoptotic tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily indicating that the treatment could have both anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects. Both reduction of infarct size and influence on neuroinflammation could have a potentially important positive impact on the poststroke recovery process, implicating PEMF as a possible adjunctive therapy for stroke patients.

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