Pulsed magnetic fields, neurons, and blood vessels

  • Casper, Diana (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Signals generated by pulsed magnetic fields (PMF) have been added to the list of standard strategies in healing bone fractures, and recent evidence suggests additional clinical applications for wound healing in soft tissue. Several interrelated mechanisms may account for the ability of PMF to repair tissue, including angiogenesis, regulation of intracellular calcium, and stimulation of growth factor synthesis. Notably, these same mechanisms play important and critical roles in the maintenance and plasticity of brain cells. The longterm goal of our research is to increase the survival of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease, and for the past several years we have focused on the relationship between dopaminergic neurons, angiogenic factors, and brain vascularization. Recently we observed that dopaminergic neurons have a strong association with blood vessels in neural transplants, and found that VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), an angiogenic factor, could concomitantly increase neuronal survival. Preliminary data from our laboratory indicates that molecular and cellular indices of vascular plasticity decline with aging, suggesting that vessel maintenance and function may be compromised, negatively impacting on neuronal survival. We hypothesize that PMF will increase vascular plasticity and neuronal survival in rats, and this effect may be greatest for aged animals. We propose to examine the effects of PMF on neurons and vessels in cell culture, intact brain, and neural transplants. We will use a variety of conditions of PMF to optimize the effect (or to confirm the absence of an effect). In collaboration with the microsurgery laboratory at Montefiore currently studying PMF and wound healing, and a biophysicist who has studied the biological effects of PMF for more than 30 years, we will explore the potential of this modality to attenuate neurodegeneration and increase vascular plasticity. Results could have applications not only in therapeutic strategies for Parkinson's disease, but in the treatment of other chronic and acute vascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Effective start/end date7/15/055/31/08


  • National Institutes of Health: $162,557.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $181,319.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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