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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Combined with Aerobic Exercise on the Recovery of Motor Function in Ischemic Stroke Rat Model

by Juanxiu Cui 1,†, Cuk-Seong Kim 2,†, Yeongwook Kim 3, Min Kyun Sohn 1,3,* and Sungju Jee 3,*
1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Korea
2
Department of Physiology & Medical Science, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon 35015, Korea
3
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon 35015, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(3), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10030186
Received: 11 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stroke Treatments and Therapies)
The therapeutic benefits of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) combined with rehabilitation therapy on recovery after stroke have not been fully elucidated. This study aimed to explore the therapeutic effects of rTMS followed by aerobic exercise on neuroplasticity and recovery of motor function in a rat model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Rats were randomized into sham operation (N = 10, sham op), MCAO (N = 10, control group), rTMS (N = 10, MCAO and rTMS therapy), and combination groups (N = 10, MCAO and combination therapy). High-frequency rTMS (10 Hz) was applied on the ipsilesional forepaw motor cortex, and aerobic exercise training on the rotarod was performed for two weeks. The rotarod and Garcia tests were conducted to evaluate changes in behavioral function. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were used to evaluate electrophysiological changes. Stroke severity was assessed using infarction volume measurement. Neuronal recovery was explored with western blot for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) pathway proteins. Compared with control therapy, combination therapy was significantly more effective than rTMS therapy for improving function on the rotarod test (p = 0.08), Garcia test (p = 0.001), and MEP amplitude (p = 0.001) In conclusion, combination therapy may be a potential treatment to promote recovery of motor function and neuroplasticity in stroke patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcranial magnetic stimulation; exercise; neuroplasticity; function recovery; middle cerebral artery occlusion transcranial magnetic stimulation; exercise; neuroplasticity; function recovery; middle cerebral artery occlusion
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Cui, J.; Kim, C.-S.; Kim, Y.; Sohn, M.K.; Jee, S. Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Combined with Aerobic Exercise on the Recovery of Motor Function in Ischemic Stroke Rat Model. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 186.

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