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Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromodulation of the Cervical Spinal Cord Depends Both on the Stimulation Intensity and the Degree of Voluntary Activity for Training. A Pilot Study
Article

Low-Intensity and Short-Duration Continuous Cervical Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Intervention Does Not Prime the Corticospinal and Spinal Reflex Pathways in Able-Bodied Subjects

1
Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
2
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo 102-0083, Japan
3
Department of Mechanical Science and Bioengineering, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-8531, Japan
4
Center for Neuroregeneration, Department of Neurosurgery, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA
5
School of Health Sciences, Tokyo International University, Saitama 350-1197, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ursula S. Hofstoetter, Karen Minassian and Hiroyuki Katoh
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(16), 3633; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163633
Received: 1 July 2021 / Revised: 29 July 2021 / Accepted: 13 August 2021 / Published: 17 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spinal Cord Injury and Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation)
Cervical transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (tSCS) has been utilized in applications for improving upper-limb sensory and motor function in patients with spinal cord injury. Although therapeutic effects of continuous cervical tSCS interventions have been reported, neurophysiological mechanisms remain largely unexplored. Specifically, it is not clear whether sub-threshold intensity and 10-min duration continuous cervical tSCS intervention can affect the central nervous system excitability. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate effects of sub-motor-threshold 10-min continuous cervical tSCS applied at rest on the corticospinal and spinal reflex circuit in ten able-bodied individuals. Neurophysiological assessments were conducted to investigate (1) corticospinal excitability via transcranial magnetic stimulation applied on the primary motor cortex to evoke motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) and (2) spinal reflex excitability via single-pulse tSCS applied at the cervical level to evoke posterior root muscle (PRM) reflexes. Measurements were recorded from multiple upper-limb muscles before, during, and after the intervention. Our results showed that low-intensity and short-duration continuous cervical tSCS intervention applied at rest did not significantly affect corticospinal and spinal reflex excitability. The stimulation duration and/or intensity, as well as other stimulating parameters selection, may therefore be critical for inducing neuromodulatory effects during cervical tSCS. View Full-Text
Keywords: cervical; transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation; corticospinal pathway; spinal reflex; neuromodulation cervical; transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation; corticospinal pathway; spinal reflex; neuromodulation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sasaki, A.; de Freitas, R.M.; Sayenko, D.G.; Masugi, Y.; Nomura, T.; Nakazawa, K.; Milosevic, M. Low-Intensity and Short-Duration Continuous Cervical Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Intervention Does Not Prime the Corticospinal and Spinal Reflex Pathways in Able-Bodied Subjects. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 3633. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163633

AMA Style

Sasaki A, de Freitas RM, Sayenko DG, Masugi Y, Nomura T, Nakazawa K, Milosevic M. Low-Intensity and Short-Duration Continuous Cervical Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Intervention Does Not Prime the Corticospinal and Spinal Reflex Pathways in Able-Bodied Subjects. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(16):3633. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163633

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sasaki, Atsushi, Roberto M. de Freitas, Dimitry G. Sayenko, Yohei Masugi, Taishin Nomura, Kimitaka Nakazawa, and Matija Milosevic. 2021. "Low-Intensity and Short-Duration Continuous Cervical Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Intervention Does Not Prime the Corticospinal and Spinal Reflex Pathways in Able-Bodied Subjects" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 16: 3633. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163633

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