Magnets for Movement


Asha Hollis

Principal Investigator

Dr. Adam Kirton


University of Calgary

Grant Type



Early-Life Brain Injury

About the researcher

Asha Hollis

Graduate Student at the University of Calgary

The impact

Non-invasive brain stimulation is an exciting potential therapy for school-aged children that can safely promote the brain’s innate healing capacity: neuroplasticity. But just because a therapy helps the brains of older children, doesn’t mean it works the same in babies! This research is exploring a new type of non-invasive brain stimulation that might help the brains of infants who’ve suffered from an early brain injury. 

The study

Thousands of babies suffer brain injury at birth (e.g. stroke) and are left with lifelong motor disability. Existing non-invasive brain stimulation tools are effective at helping older children, but there are limited treatment options for young babies immediately after they’ve suffered an injury. Transcranial Static Magnetic Field Stimulation (tSMS) may have the potential to fill this treatment gap by using magnetic waves to influence brain activity. Since a baby’s brain is rapidly growing and developing, the use of non-invasive magnets could be very effective for babies at this critical stage of life. This study is testing whether these magnetic stimulation can improve the ability of children to learn motor skills. 

What's next?

This study hopes to identify the effects of the tSMS magnets on motor learning in the brain, as well as confirming safety and tolerability in pediatric populations. The success of this project will lead the way for the development of high-impact treatments for early-life brain injuries in babies. 



Not only is Asha a talented neuroscientist and Medical Student, but she is also passionate about evidence-based community outreach. Check out her Solve the Mystery Toolkit that gamifies learning about the health risks of vaping for adolescents. She also created two short activities (linked here & here) for elementary school students which are now available on their website in EN and FR. Follow this project on Twitter @SolveToolkit or email to learn more about this interactive educational tool!

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