The objectives of this study were to establish the neurophysiological properties of the transpinal evoked potentials (TEPs) following transcutaneous electric stimulation of the spine (tsESS) over the cervicothoracic region, changes in the amplitude of the TEPs preceded by median nerve stimulation at group I threshold, and the effects of tsESS on the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) H-reflex in thirteen healthy human subjects while seated. Two re-usable self-adhering electrodes, connected to function as one electrode (cathode), were placed bilaterally on the clavicles. A re-usable electrode (anode) was placed on the cervicothoracic region covering from Cervical 4 – Thoracic 2 and held under constant pressure throughout the experiment. TEPs were recorded bilaterally from major arm muscles with subjects seated at stimulation frequencies of 1.0, 0.5, 0.33, 0.2, 0.125, and 0.1 Hz, and upon double tsESS pulses delivered at an inter-stimulus interval of 40 ms. TEPs from the arm muscles were also recorded following median nerve stimulation at the conditioning-test (C-T) intervals of 2, 3, 5, 8, and 10 ms. The FCR H-reflex was evoked and recorded according to conventional methods following double median nerve pulses at 40 ms, and was also conditioned by tsESS at C-T intervals that ranged from −10 to +50 ms. The arm TEPs amplitude was not decreased at low-stimulation frequencies and upon double tsESS pulses in all but one subject. Ipsilateral and contralateral arm TEPs were facilitated following ipsilateral median nerve stimulation, while the FCR H-reflex was depressed by double pulses and following tsESS at short and long C-T intervals. Non-invasive transpinal stimulation can be used as a therapeutic modality to decrease spinal reflex hyper-excitability in neurological disorders and when combined with peripheral nerve stimulation to potentiate spinal output.
Einhorn, Jonathan; Li, Alan; Hazan, Royi; and Knikou, Maria, "Cervicothoracic Multisegmental Transpinal Evoked Potentials in Humans" (2013). CUNY Academic Works.