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Bragina O. A., Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya O. V., Bragin D. E. Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Increases Cerebral Blood Flow, Tissue Oxygenation and Improves Neurological Functions in Intact Mice and in the Late Posttraumatic Period of Traumatic Brain Injury. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Chemistry. Biology. Ecology, 2018, vol. 18, iss. 3, pp. 354-360. DOI:

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Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Increases Cerebral Blood Flow, Tissue Oxygenation and Improves Neurological Functions in Intact Mice and in the Late Posttraumatic Period of Traumatic Brain Injury


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem that causes long term neurological deficit in the majority of patients and does not have any clinically proved effective treatment. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an emerging electroceutical therapy suggested for TBI rehabilitation. However, optimal parameters of stimulation and mechanisms of action are not determined due to lack of preclinical studies, impeding its clinical implementation. Using the mouse model of TBI, we investigated the effects of anodal tDCS on cerebral blood flow and tissue oxygenation and evaluated the time-dependent efficacy of tDCS in improvement of neurologic outcome. TBI caused damage to cerebral cortex and hippocampus, associated with a progressive decrease in cerebral blood flow and tissue oxygenation in the pericontusional area followed by neurological impairment. In vivo laser speckle imaging showed that anodal tDCS causes an increase in regional blood flow in the cerebral cortex. At the microvascular level, using in vivo two-photon laser scanning microscopy, we have shown that anodal tDCS causes dilatation of arterioles, leading to an increase in capillary blood flow and tissue oxygenation. The four-week course of anodal tDCS significantly improved motor and cognitive neurological functions. The group in which stimulation started 3 weeks after TBI showed a better recovery from injury than the group in which stimulation started 1 week after TBI, indicating that the late post-traumatic period is more optimal for the use of anodal tDCS.


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