(1) Background: Degenerative cervical myelopathy is one of the main causes of disability in the elderly. The treatment of choice in patients with clear symptomatology and radiological correlation is surgical decompression. The application of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) techniques has the potential to provide additional insights into the cortical and corticospinal behavior of the myelopathic cord and to better characterize the possible extent of clinical recovery. The objective of our study was to use nTMS to evaluate the effect of surgical decompression on neurophysiological properties at the cortical and corticospinal level and to better characterize the extent of possible clinical recovery. (2) Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study in which we assessed and compared nTMS neurophysiological indexes and clinical parameters (modified Japanese Orthopedic Association score and nine-hole pegboard test) before surgery, at 6 months, and at 12 months’ follow-up in a population of 15 patients. (3) Results: We found a significant reduction in resting motor threshold (RMT; average 7%), cortical silent period (CSP; average 15%), and motor area (average 25%) at both 6 months and 12 months. A statistically significant linear correlation emerged between recruitment curve (RC) values obtained at follow-up appointments and at baseline (r = 0.95 at 6 months, r = 0.98 at 12 months). A concomitant improvement in the mJOA score and in the nine-hole pegboard task was observed after surgery. (4) Conclusions: Our results suggest that surgical decompression of the myelopathic spinal cord improves the neurophysiological balance at the cortical and corticospinal level, resulting in clinically significant recovery. Such findings contribute to the existing evidence characterizing the brain and the spinal cord as a dynamic system capable of functional and reversible plasticity and provide useful clinical insights to be used for patient counseling.

Motor pathways reorganization following surgical decompression for degenerative cervical myelopathy: a combined navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation and clinical outcome study

Alessandro Boaro;Sonia Nunes;Chiara Bagattini;Valeria Di Caro;Francesca Siddi;Fabio Moscolo;Christian Soda;Francesco Sala
2024-01-01

Abstract

(1) Background: Degenerative cervical myelopathy is one of the main causes of disability in the elderly. The treatment of choice in patients with clear symptomatology and radiological correlation is surgical decompression. The application of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) techniques has the potential to provide additional insights into the cortical and corticospinal behavior of the myelopathic cord and to better characterize the possible extent of clinical recovery. The objective of our study was to use nTMS to evaluate the effect of surgical decompression on neurophysiological properties at the cortical and corticospinal level and to better characterize the extent of possible clinical recovery. (2) Methods: We conducted a longitudinal study in which we assessed and compared nTMS neurophysiological indexes and clinical parameters (modified Japanese Orthopedic Association score and nine-hole pegboard test) before surgery, at 6 months, and at 12 months’ follow-up in a population of 15 patients. (3) Results: We found a significant reduction in resting motor threshold (RMT; average 7%), cortical silent period (CSP; average 15%), and motor area (average 25%) at both 6 months and 12 months. A statistically significant linear correlation emerged between recruitment curve (RC) values obtained at follow-up appointments and at baseline (r = 0.95 at 6 months, r = 0.98 at 12 months). A concomitant improvement in the mJOA score and in the nine-hole pegboard task was observed after surgery. (4) Conclusions: Our results suggest that surgical decompression of the myelopathic spinal cord improves the neurophysiological balance at the cortical and corticospinal level, resulting in clinically significant recovery. Such findings contribute to the existing evidence characterizing the brain and the spinal cord as a dynamic system capable of functional and reversible plasticity and provide useful clinical insights to be used for patient counseling.
2024
degenerative cervical myelopathy
nTMS
plasticity
corticospinal reorganization
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1118046
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