Scientific image

Image of an adult neural stem cell derived colony with astrocytes (purple), neurons (green) and oligodendrocytes (yellow). (Image provided by Morshead lab.)

A collaboration led by Cindi Morshead, a professor of anatomy at U of T, is delving into the potential of electrical stimulation as a treatment strategy for neurological disorders and injuries.

Electrical stimulation holds promise for neural repair as it has shown effectiveness in activating resident neural stem cells in the brain, promoting neuroplasticity and facilitating neural regeneration.

This project is specifically looking at post-stroke recovery. Stroke can leave people with cognitive and physical impairments. The researchers will study if electrical stimulation improves outcomes after a stroke.

Funded as part of Medicine by Design’s Convergent Working Groups program, Medicine by Design’s newest initiative to integrate new strands of inquiry in the community, this project began by bringing together clinicians, researchers and others from fields including regenerative medicine, electrical engineering, rehabilitation, material science, design, and manufacturing.

Cindi Morshead

Cindi Morshead

“In our Convergent Working Group, we engaged experts from various fields and explored customizable and scalable electrical stimulation technologies. Our goal is to develop affordable and personalized approaches that improve the quality of life for individuals with neurological disorders,” says Morshead, whose U of T lab is located at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.

Though they are looking at electrical stimulation in a post-stroke context, their long-term goal is to develop advancements that can be applied broadly in the field of regenerative medicine across different tissues.

“We think Canada could lead the way in this potential new regenerative medicine strategy,” says Morshead.

Back to “Five ways Medicine by Design is transforming the treatment of brain diseases.”