Changes in canine cerebral perfusion after accelerated high frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF-rTMS): A proof of concept study

R. Dockx, C. Baeken, R. Duprat, F. De Vos, J. H. Saunders, I. Polis, K. Audenaert, K. Peremans

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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been proposed as a treatment for several neuropsychiatric disorders in human beings, but the neurobiological effects of rTMS in dogs have not been investigated to date. A proof of concept study was designed to evaluate the effect of rTMS on cerebral perfusion, measured with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), in dogs. An accelerated high frequency (aHF)-rTMS (20 Hz) protocol was applied to the canine left frontal cortex. To accurately target this area, eight dogs underwent a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan before stimulation. The left frontal cortex was subjected to five consecutive aHF-rTMS sessions with a figure-of-eight coil designed for human beings at an intensity of 110% of the motor threshold. The dogs underwent 99mTc-d,1 hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO) SPECT scans 1 week prior to and 1 day after the stimulations. Perfusion indices (PIs) were determined semi-quantitatively; aHF-rTMS resulted in significantly increased PIs in the left frontal cortex and the subcortical region, whereas no significant differences were noted for the other regions. Behaviour was not influenced by the stimulation sessions. As has been observed in human beings, aHF-rTMS applied to the left frontal cortex alters regional cerebral perfusion in dogs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalThe Veterinary Journal
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Canine
  • Frontal cortex
  • High frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Regional cerebral blood flow

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