Dynamic electrical stimulation enhances the recruitment of spinal interneurons by corticospinal input

Giuliano Taccola, Roger Kissane, Stanislav Culaclii, Rosamaria Apicella, Wentai Liu, Parag Gad, Ronaldo M. Ichiyama, Samit Chakrabarty, V. Reggie Edgerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Highly varying patterns of electrostimulation (Dynamic Stimulation, DS) delivered to the dorsal cord through an epidural array with 18 independent electrodes transiently facilitate corticospinal motor responses, even after spinal injury. To partly unravel how corticospinal input are affected by DS, we introduced a corticospinal platform that allows selective cortical stimulation during the multisite acquisition of cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) and the simultaneous supply of DS. Firstly, the epidural interface was validated by the acquisition of the classical multisite distribution of CDPs and their input-output profile elicited by pulses delivered to peripheral nerves. Apart from increased EMGs, DS selectively increased excitability of the spinal interneurons that first process corticospinal input, without changing the magnitude of commands descending from the motor cortex, suggesting a novel correlation between muscle recruitment and components of cortically-evoked CDPs. Finally, DS increases excitability of post-synaptic spinal interneurons at the stimulation site and their responsiveness to any residual supraspinal control, thus supporting the use of electrical neuromodulation whenever the motor output is jeopardized by a weak volitional input, due to a partial disconnection from supraspinal structures and/or neuronal brain dysfunctions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114589
JournalExperimental Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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