Volume 49 Number 3, 2012
Pages 451 — 458
Abstract–Peripheral nerve injuries lead to a variety of pathological conditions, including paresis or paralysis when the injury involves motor axons. We have been studying ways to enhance the regeneration of peripheral nerves using daily electrical stimulation (ES) following a facial nerve crush injury. In our previous studies, ES was not initiated until 24 h after injury. The current experiment tested whether ES administered immediately following the crush injury would further decrease the time for complete recovery from facial paralysis. Rats received a unilateral facial nerve crush injury and an electrode was positioned on the nerve proximal to the crush site. Animals received daily 30 min sessions of ES for 1 d (day of injury only), 2 d, 4 d, 7 d, or daily until complete functional recovery. Untreated animals received no ES. Animals were observed daily for the return of facial function. Our findings demonstrated that one session of ES was as effective as daily stimulation at enhancing the recovery of most functional parameters. Therefore, the use of a single 30 min session of ES as a possible treatment strategy should be studied in human patients with paralysis as a result of acute nerve injuries.
Key words: electrical stimulation, facial nerve, facial paralysis, functional recovery, injury, motoneuron, peripheral nerve, regeneration, repair, therapy.
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:59 AM