Thursday, December 1st, 2022


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Effect of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Motor Function in Rats with Kernicterus
Authors:  Ting Wang, M.M., Yi Liu, M.M., and Nong Xiao, M.M.
  Objective: Severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia may lead to kernicterus, which is a global disease with a high mortality rate. Athetosis is one of the clinical manifestations of nervous system sequelae in kernicterus which resulted from the damage in the striatum of basal ganglia caused by unconjugated bilirubin crossing the blood-brain barrier. This disease significantly reduces the quality of children’s lives. However, there is no specific and effective treatment for athetosis.
Study Design:
Twenty-nine rats were divided randomly into 3 groups: Control group (n=7), Model group (n=11), and rTMS group (n=11). The Model and rTMS groups received an injection of 10 μg/g body weight of bilirubin solution into the cerebellomedullary cistern, and the Control group received the injection of the same amount of normal saline. Gait analysis was performed, and BNDF and dopamine were measured before (19 days of age) and after (26 days of age) rTMS treatment.
Bilirubin injection induced abnormal neurobehavioral changes, such as opisthotonos, lateral position, clenched fists, and no response to external stimuli. What’s more, bilirubin also induced incoordination of the movements, including shorter step (gait) length and larger difference between left and right steps. rTMS treatment reversed the incoordination of the movements induced by bilirubin. More importantly, rTMS treatment induced the expression of dopamine in the striatum.
Bilirubin injection could be used to establish the experimental model of kernicterus disease, and rTMS treatment improved the coordination of the movements and induced the expression of dopamine. All these results suggest that rTMS has the potential to be used in the treatment of kernicterus disease.
Keywords:  brain derived neurotrophic factor, dopamine, kernicterus, motor function, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
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