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Dockx R, Peremans K, Vlerick L, Van Laeken N, Saunders JH, Polis I, De Vos F, Baeken C (2017) Anaesthesia, not number of sessions, influences the magnitude and duration of an ahf-rtms in dogs. Public Library of Science ONE, 12(9):e185362    
Background Currently, the rat has been a useful animal model in brain stimulation research. Nevertheless, extrapolating results from rodent repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) research to humans contains several hurdles. This suggests the desperate need for a large animal model in translational rTMS research. The dog would be a valid choice, not only due to the fact that humans and dogs share a neurophysiological background, but a similar neuropathological background as well. Hypothesis In order to evaluate the feasibility of the canine rTMS animal model, this study aimed to evaluate the neurophysiological response in dogs on a, clinically used, accelerated high frequency (aHF) rTMS protocol. This aHF-rTMS (20 Hz) protocol was performed under anaesthesia or sedation and either 20 sessions or 5 sessions were given to each dog. Methods 21 healthy dogs were randomly subjected to one of the four aHF-rTMS protocols (1 sham and 3 active protocols). For each dog, the perfusion indices (PI), of a [99mTc]HMPAO scan at 4 time points, for the left frontal cortex (stimulation target) were calculated for each protocol. Results Concerning sham stimulation, the average PI remained at the baseline level. The main result was the presence of a direct transitory increase in rCBF at the stimulation site, both under anaesthesia and sedation. Nevertheless the measured increase in rCBF was higher but shorter duration under sedation. The magnitude of this increase was not influenced by number of sessions. No changes in rCBF were found in remote brain regions. Conclusion This study shows that, despite the influence of anaesthesia and sedation, comparable and clinically relevant effects on the rCBF can be obtained in dogs. Since less methodological hurdles have to be overcome and comparable results can be obtained, it would be acceptable to put the dog forward as an alternative translational rTMS animal model