Effect of pulsed magnetic stimulation of the facial nerve on cerebral blood flow

Mark K. Borsody, Chisa Yamada, Dawn Bielawski, Tamara Heaton, Bruce G Lyeth, Andrea Garcia, Fernando Castro Prado, Joaquín Azpiroz, Emilio Sacristan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In these experiments we define an effective means of pulsed magnetic stimulation of the facial nerve for the purpose of increasing cerebral blood flow (CBF). In normal anesthetized dog and sheep, a focal magnetic field was directed toward the facial nerve within the temporal bone by placing a 6.5 cm figure-8 stimulation coil over the ear. In an initial set of experiments, CBF was measured by laser Doppler flowmetry and the cerebral vasculature was visualized by angiography. The effect of facial nerve stimulation was found to be dependent on stimulation power, frequency, and the precise positioning of the stimulation coil. Furthermore, an increase in CBF was not observed after direct electrical stimulation in the middle ear space, indicating that non-specific stimulation of the tympanic plexus, an intervening neural structure with vasoactive effects, was not responsible for the increase in CBF after pulsed magnetic stimulation. Subsequent experiments using perfusion MRI demonstrated reproducible increases in CBF throughout the forebrain that manifested bilaterally, albeit with an ipsilateral predominance. These experiments support the development of a non-invasive pulsed magnetic facial nerve stimulator that will increase CBF as a treatment of ischemic stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Aug 28 2013


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Facial nerve
  • Magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of pulsed magnetic stimulation of the facial nerve on cerebral blood flow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this