Repetitive magnetic stimulation improves retinal function in a rat model of retinal dystrophy Conference Paper uri icon


  • Vision incapacitation and blindness associated with retinal dystrophies affect millions of people worldwide. Retinal degeneration is characterized by photoreceptor cell death and concomitant remodeling of remaining retinal cells. Repetitive Magnetic Stimulation (RMS) is a non-invasive technique that creates alternating magnetic fields by brief electric currents transmitted through an insulated coil. These magnetic field generate action potentials in neurons, and modulate the expression of neurotransmitter receptors, growth factors and transcription factors which mediate plasticity. This technology has been proven effective and safe in various psychiatric disorders. Here we determined the effect of RMS on retinal function in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats, a model for retinal dystrophy. Four week-old RCS and control Spargue Dawley (SD) rats received sham or RMS treatment over the right eye (12 sessions on 4 weeks). RMS treatment at intensity of at 40% of the maximal output of a Rapid2 stimulator significantly increased the electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave responses by up to 6- or 10-fold in the left and right eye respectively, 3-5 weeks following end of treatment. RMS treatment at intensity of 25% of the maximal output did not significant effect b-wave responses following end of treatment with no adverse effect on ERG response or retinal structure of SD rats. Our findings suggest that RMS treatment induces delayed improvement of retinal functions and may induce plasticity in the retinal tissue. Furthermore, this non-invasive treatment may possibly be used in the future as a primary or adjuvant treatment for retinal dystrophy.

publication date

  • February 28, 2014