Brain Canada Brain Canada
FR Donate

Evaluating therapeutic stimulation in a mouse model of perinatal stroke

Principal Investigator:
  • Greg Silasi, University of Ottawa

Project Overview

Neonatal strokes occur in approximately 1 in 1500 term births and is the leading cause of hemiplegic cerebral palsy (HCP). The ischemic event leaves most children with life-long motor impairments, and in many cases the effects of rehabilitation are minimal. One potential mechanism for further enhancing the effects of therapy is to combine treatment with non-invasive brain stimulation, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), which can modulate the excitability of target brain regions, however, the feasibility of this approach is difficult to assess clinically, as the location and size of the injury varies significantly across subjects. Our approach will be to employ a mouse model of perinatal stroke to evaluate the efficacy of two forms interventions that may improve function: 1) Tactile stimulation of the impaired limb during development; 2) Paired Associative Stimulation (PAS) of the injured hemisphere in adulthood. We will injure the motor cortex in 7 day old pups through photothrombosis, and assess hand function through a fully automated skilled reaching paradigm that animals can perform within the home-cage. To evaluate the effects of our interventions on the cortical control of movement we will perform optogenetic motor mapping across both the intact and injured hemispheres.