Baclofen facilitates sleep, neuroplasticity, and recovery after stroke in rats.

Hodor, Aleksandra; Palchykova, Svitlana; Baracchi, Francesca; Noain, Daniela; Bassetti, Claudio (2014). Baclofen facilitates sleep, neuroplasticity, and recovery after stroke in rats. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 1(10), pp. 765-777. Wiley 10.1002/acn3.115

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OBJECTIVE Sleep disruption in the acute phase after stroke has detrimental effects on recovery in both humans and animals. Conversely, the effect of sleep promotion remains unclear. Baclofen (Bac) is a known non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep-promoting drug in both humans and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Bac on stroke recovery in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia (isch). METHODS Rats, assigned to three experimental groups (Bac/isch, saline/isch, or Bac/sham), were injected twice daily for 10 consecutive days with Bac or saline, starting 24 h after induction of stroke. The sleep-wake cycle was assessed by EEG recordings and functional motor recovery by single pellet reaching test (SPR). In order to identify potential neuroplasticity mechanisms, axonal sprouting and neurogenesis were evaluated. Brain damage was assessed by Nissl staining. RESULTS Repeated Bac treatment after ischemia affected sleep, motor function, and neuroplasticity, but not the size of brain damage. NREM sleep amount was increased significantly during the dark phase in Bac/isch compared to the saline/isch group. SPR performance dropped to 0 immediately after stroke and was recovered slowly thereafter in both ischemic groups. However, Bac-treated ischemic rats performed significantly better than saline-treated animals. Axonal sprouting in the ipsilesional motor cortex and striatum, and neurogenesis in the peri-infarct region were significantly increased in Bac/isch group. CONCLUSION Delayed repeated Bac treatment after stroke increased NREM sleep and promoted both neuroplasticity and functional outcome. These data support the hypothesis of the role of sleep as a modulator of poststroke recovery.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Hodor, Aleksandra; Palchykova, Svitlana; Baracchi, Francesca and Bassetti, Claudio


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Valentina Rossetti

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2015 10:31

Last Modified:

27 Sep 2018 16:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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