We aimed at assessing in this pilot study whether patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) show alterations of sensorimotor plasticity within the primary motor cortex (M1). Since learning in human M1 occurs through LTP-like mechanisms, we employed the paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is able to induce LTP-like effects in M1, in subjects with chronic SCI. We found that PAS protocol significantly increased corticospinal excitability as long as 30minutes in healthy subjects and in SCI patients with good motor recovery, while it was followed by a non-significant increase of MEP amplitude in the SCI patients with poor functional recovery. These findings suggest that the level of LTP-like phenomena is correlated with long term recovery and support the correlation between the ability of inducing excitability changes using TMS and the process of motor recovery. Increased cortical plasticity might imply greater capability for neuromodulation.

Abnormal cortical neuroplasticity induced by paired associative stimulation after traumatic spinal cord injury: a preliminary study

Brigo, Francesco;
2018-01-01

Abstract

We aimed at assessing in this pilot study whether patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) show alterations of sensorimotor plasticity within the primary motor cortex (M1). Since learning in human M1 occurs through LTP-like mechanisms, we employed the paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is able to induce LTP-like effects in M1, in subjects with chronic SCI. We found that PAS protocol significantly increased corticospinal excitability as long as 30minutes in healthy subjects and in SCI patients with good motor recovery, while it was followed by a non-significant increase of MEP amplitude in the SCI patients with poor functional recovery. These findings suggest that the level of LTP-like phenomena is correlated with long term recovery and support the correlation between the ability of inducing excitability changes using TMS and the process of motor recovery. Increased cortical plasticity might imply greater capability for neuromodulation.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation; paired associative stimulation; spinal cord injury; synaptic plasticity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/971713
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