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Therapeutic application of electric fields in the injured nervous system

Haan, Niels and Song, Bing 2014. Therapeutic application of electric fields in the injured nervous system. Advances in Wound Care 3 (2) , pp. 156-165. 10.1089/wound.2013.0450

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Significance: Nervous system injuries, both in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system are a major cause for pain, loss-of-function, and impairment of daily life. As nervous system injuries commonly heal slowly or incompletely, new therapeutic approaches may be required. Recent Advances: The observation that cultured neurons are able to respond to exogenous electric fields (EFs) by sprouting more neurites and directing growth along the field, along with the presence of endogenous EFs in the developing vertebrate nervous system have led to the suggestion of the use of EFs in a regenerative therapeutic setting. This review discusses the effects of EFs on nervous cells, and their use in the treatment of nervous injuries in the eye, limb nerves, and the spinal cord. Exogenous EFs have been shown to be neuroprotective in various injury models of the eye, including traumatic injury, congenital degenerative retinopathy, and glaucoma. In the PNS, EFs are able to stimulate regrowth and functional recovery in damaged limb nerves. In the spinal cord, axonal regeneration and improved quality of life may be achieved using EF stimulation. Critical Issues: The optimal paradigm for electrical stimulation has not been determined, and the mechanisms behind the effect of EF are still largely unknown. Future Directions: Although the therapeutic use of EFs in the nervous system is still in its infancy, it is a promising therapeutic avenue for otherwise hard to treat injuries. The cellular/molecular mechanisms of such regulation need to be fully investigated, and the efficiency of applied EFs during wound healing needs to be optimized in a systematic approach in both animal models and future clinical trials.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN: 2162-1918
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 10:38

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